Victorians who have experienced dodgy practices by IVF and assisted reproductive treatment services are being asked to share their stories as part of an inquiry.
The state government has tasked Health Complaints Commissioner Karen Cusack with uncovering questionable practices by IVF and Assisted Reproductive Treatment services, with a final report expected to be delivered to the government by the year’s end.
Ms Cusack is seeking submissions from consumers, their family and friends, treatment providers and fertility services by August 16.
“To carry out this inquiry, it’s vital I have as much information as possible relating to ART and other fertility treatment services,” she said.
Between February 1, 2017 and March 31, 2019, the Health Complaints Commissioner received 56 complaints about assisted reproductive treatment services about 83 separate issues, mostly about inappropriate treatment and access to services and communication.
Submissions can be anonymous and the commissioner’s report may include recommendations to the government.
The inquiry follows a review of Assisted Reproductive Services, which looked into the adequacy of safeguards to protect people using, or intending to use, assisted reproductive treatment after some people fell victim to rogue operators, including one doctor who allegedly knowingly transferred an unviable embryo into a patient.
Assisted reproductive treatment is costly, with one IVF cycle costing up to $ 15,000. Only about a third of people who undertake the treatment are successful.
Australian Associated Press