The HSE will introduce publicly funded fertility treatment services from September 2023. This includes treatments such as IVF, IUI and ICSI for people who meet the access criteria, as announced by the Minister for Health today.
Dr Clíona Murphy, Clinical Director, HSE National Women and Infants Health Programme (NWIHP), said “This is the first and very exciting phase in the rollout of Assisted Human Reproductive Services in Ireland and an important development to support people who need fertility treatments. We are delighted to see investment in this area to ease the financial burden for public patients and it will significantly increase access to services for many. We have designed caring and efficient pathways for patients, ensuring a safe and quality service, so that fertility issues are addressed through the public health system at the lowest level of clinical intervention necessary.”
Recent research found that 74% of the public support publicly funded fertility treatments to help people conceive. This service will initially be provided by approved private providers on behalf of the HSE, while the HSE over time builds up a network of public capacity to deliver the service directly within the public health system. We will work closely with the approved private providers and aim to have services available across the country, to support eligible people in accessing services as close to where they live as possible.
How to access these services
People who are experiencing fertility issues should talk to their GP, who can do initial tests. Patients can then be referred by their GP to their local Regional Fertility Hub, where they can expect to avail of a wide range of investigations and interventions including: relevant blood tests, semen analysis, fertility-related surgeries and medical management of fertility challenges including ovulation induction with follicle tracking.
We have six regional fertility hubs within public maternity hospital networks across the country that are already providing services to people experiencing fertility issues. The hubs currently receive approximately 150 new referrals on a monthly basis.
From September, if further advanced treatment is recommended by a Reproductive Medical Consultant and the patients meet the Access Criteria, the hubs will refer patients to a HSE-approved private provider of their choosing. There is no cost to patients for the recommended treatment through the private providers.
The HSE will be actively monitoring and reviewing the demand on this service, and reviewing patient needs both in collaboration with our six fertility hubs and with the network of HSE-approved private providers.
Last updated on: 25 / 07 / 2023