30 patients to start first IVF cycle at Mater Dei this month

Mater Dei’s IVF facility has a valid licence of two years

Thirty patients will undergo their first IVF cycle at Mater Dei Hospital during this month, parliamentary secretary for health Chris Fearne told parliament.

In reply to a question raised by PN MP Claudio Grech, Fearne also confirmed that the IVF facility at Mater Dei Hospital had a licence valid for two years.

Fearne explained that a comprehensive IVF treatment was now being offered through new facilities available at Mater Dei. The facilities,

which include a theatre and laboratory specifically assigned to IVF, have more recently been granted the necessary license.
“The license was issued in accordance with the Embryo Protection Act, protocol of the Authority for the Protection of Embryo, and European directives in force. The facilities at Mater Dei will also cater for the freezing of gametes,” Fearne said.

Fearne explained that there are currently 30 patients undergoing the stimulation phase. End 2015 ought to see six such sessions lasting a fortnight each happening, with some 150 to 200 couples benefitting from this new service.
“This free IVF service could only come about thanks to the substantial investment, commitment and determination of the Department of Health,” the junior minister insisted.

The service enjoys close collaboration between Maltese professionals in the field and British embryologists. Over the last months, a number of nurses and consultants undertook specialized training on topics related to infertility by the British Infertility Counselling Association, the only accredited association  in this field in the United Kingdom.

IVF services in Malta are open for women aged 25 to 43 years. In line with established protocols women over the age of 40 can undergo two cycles while those who have not yet reached the age of 40 will be given the opportunity to make three cycles. 

Patients seeking in vitro fertilisation will be charged up to €2,500 for the hormonal stimulation of female patients. The fee covers hormonal induction, which stimulates the production of female ova to create a greater number than usual, which are then harvested, or extracted, so that they can be implanted with sperm.
The fee also includes the cost of the drugs used, which could amount to €1,000.
The total cost of an IVF treatment process, if fully funded by the couple, can be as much as €6,000.

In an unrelated question raised by Grech, Fearne also said that a total of 51 women aged 43 plus became mothers between 2012, 2013 and 2014. There were 17 births each year.

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