Victoria resumes IVF treatments after fierce backlash

Victoria resumes IVF treatments after fierce backlash


IVF procedures are set to resume in Victoria following a short campaign by advocates who implored the state government to reconsider its position.

Some services will restart from Thursday, with hospitals enabling procedures from 11.59pm on Tuesday, 25 January.

Acting Health Minister James Merlino received advice from the chief health officer to remove restrictions on IVF procedures, given the “specialist nature of the workforce and the facilities and equipment used are not imperative to support the pandemic response at this time”.

“IVF is a challenging journey for anyone to go through, let alone in the midst of a global pandemic, and we’re deeply sorry for the distress caused by affected services in recent weeks,” Acting Minister for Health James Merlino said on Thursday.

“We thank Victorians for their patience as we’ve worked through critical workforce issues, and we’ll keep working to have other services restored as soon as we can.”

The health department will work with the Royal Women’s Hospital to prioritise urgent patients, ensuring that the changes do not affect the COVID-19 response in that hospital.

An online petition to reinstate fertility and IVF treatments garnered almost 140,000 signatures with the state’s pause criticised widely by prospective parents, the Prime Minister and Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy, who described it as “cruel and heartless”.

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