For the first time, Australian women will be able to receive up to $2000 to cover fertility treatment as part of the New South Wales (NSW) government initiative in Australia.
According to the NSW government, one in six couples experience infertility issues. As part of the $80 million government package, 12,000 women who receive private fertility treatment will benefit, along with 6180 women who use publicly available IVF treatment. The rebate will be accessible to any women who have undergone fertility treatment from the 1 October 2022 onwards, with the scheme opening from the 1 January 2023.
Treasurer Matt Kean commented on the expense that fertility treatment can bring. 'No-one should have to face the impossible choice between looking after their household budget and starting a family. I'm so proud NSW continues to lead the nation, helping thousands of families fulfil their dream of having a baby.'
This initiative will financially help those struggling to conceive, with as many as one in 20 births in Australia requiring some form of fertility assistance. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that per 1000 Australian women under the age of 45, 15.6 IVF cycles were recorded in 2019, a six percent increase from 2018. Of these initiated cycles, only 23.2 percent result in a pregnancy with 18.3 percent resulting in a live birth.
The average private cost of one round of IVF can be up to $10,000, with the maximum amount of rebate ($2000) only covering some of the fees required. Moreover, more than one round of IVF is often required, as suggested by recent research from the University of NSW, Australia.
The initiative will cover pre-IVF fertility testing and increase the number of fertility preservation facilities for those patients who have certain medical needs, such as cancer. Moreover, five days' worth of fertility treatment leave will be provided for public servants within NSW.
This NSW government initiative has built upon the $42 million election commitment for affordable IVF, which has supported publicly available IVF clinics and created a fertility preservation service for cancer patients in NSW – the state's first publicly funded clinic of its kind.
Only accredited clinics will be covered by the rebate to ensure that the best healthcare standards are supported for each family that applies.
'Fertility challenges can be stressful and heartbreaking. I hope that by lowering the cost of treatments, we can help more women on their journey to start a family,' said minister for women, Bronnie Taylor.