[WATCH] Persons who used up allotted IVF cycles at Mater Dei will be given chance to benefit from new law

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne assured persons who have already used up their IVF cycles that they will be still be able to benefit from the amendments

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne announced that couples who have used up the three IVF cycles could still benefit from amendments
Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne announced that couples who have used up the three IVF cycles could still benefit from amendments


People who have already used the three cycled provided by the medical health services will also benefit from the new law, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne announced on Thursday.

Mater Dei Hospital will be providing the possibility to persons who have exhausted the three IVF cycles provided by the state to undergo another cycle, Fearne said.

“As soon as the amendments come in, we will be offering them another cycle so that they could also benefit from the new amendments,” Fearne said.

This will allow the persons to benefit from the amendments, particularly those related to embryo freezing, in the same manner as those who have not yet exhausted their cycles.

“Due to the restrictions of the law, these couples were not successful. Now, they are justifiably asking why they are being punished simply for undergoing treatments in the wrong time – that is, before the amendments were enacted,” Fearne said.  “We understand that these persons are right, and that this was an injustice against them.”

The minister was speaking during a live Q&A session streamed on Facebook from Mater Dei. Viewers were asked to leave their questions in the comments section to be answered. The discussion was joined by obstetrician Mark Sant, and IVF campaigner Leanne Spiteri.

Sant explained that infertility in Malta is increasing, as about one in every six persons is infertile. “Even if I think this does not affect me now, since I am not planning, it could affect me in the future,” he said. This makes the need for the IVF amendments even more pertinent.

Spiteri explained that infertility and unsuccessful IVF treatments caused a myriad of problems, including emotional issues, financial issues, as well as negative side effects and health problems. “You’re already emotional that you can’t have children – and then these problems add up.”

Fearne said that prior to the amendments, the IVF law would take away opportunities from those who wanted to have children, and from doctors who wanted to provide the treatment. The bill was named the embryo protection act for a reason, he said, as it would increase the survivability of the embryo.

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