Currently artificial insemination and IVF is available on the NHS to couples who have problems with getting pregnant naturally, with insemination procedures often relied on by lesbian women who want to be mothers. But English health authorities are currently thinking over axing funding for fertility treatments, as they attempt to make drastic cuts to their budgets in line with savings targets.
The NHS Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is one of those consulting on plans to cut funding for IVF. The CCG currently offers one cycle of IVF to couples who meet the criteria, but it is planning to drop routine provision of IVF and specialised fertility treatment in order to make savings of £450,000, as it struggles to meet a required £10.9 million of cuts in the next financial year. The plans say: “We are proposing that we go further and significantly increase the thresholds for IVF and specialised fertility services which could mean IVF and specialised fertility treatment is available only for people with infertility as a result of cancer treatment or to prevent transmission of chronic viral infection. [It could mean] IVF and specialised fertility treatment is no longer commissioned.”