Government to help fund IVF treatment for couples in 2019
There's good news for couples in need of IVF treatment with the announcement that a new government fund will help to cover the cost.
The state has set aside €1 million for a new IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) fund for 2019, Minister for Health Simon Harris has said.
The funding will allow couples to get up to €4,500 to help with the cost of the fertility treatment.
The minister has asked chief medical officer Tony Holohan to draw up proposals for how the scheme might be run, a report in The Times Ireland states.
It's the first time the state has allocated public funds for IVF treatment.
It's estimated that as many as one in four couples in Ireland now struggle with trying to have a baby.
Until now, the treatment has only been available privately.
A single round of IVF can cost thousands of euro without any guarantee of success.
It's part of an overall plan by Minster Harris to begin regulating assisted reproduction in Ireland.
"It is a complex and expensive area and Ireland remains one of the only countries in Europe that has not introduced legislation," a spokesperson previously said.
When plans for the funding were initially announced in October, he had been keen to stress the scheme will not just be limited to people with a medical card.