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Written Answers. - IVF Treatment.

Wednesday, 28 February 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 462 No. 3

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 56. Mr. N. Ahern Information on Noel Ahern Zoom on Noel Ahern  asked the Minister for Health Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  whether IVF fertility treatment is available for medical card holders; whether expenditure for this treatment, costing £2,000, is an allowable expense to be considered when application for a medical card is being considered; the help, if any, that is available to a couple, one earning a gross salary £220 per week towards these expenses in view of the fact that they have been refused a medical card. [4704/96]

Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan,: Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan Limerick East): In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is not provided within the public hospital service. Accordingly, persons wishing to undergo the IVF procedure do so on a private capacity and the cost of the procedure is a matter between the patient and the consultant concerned. Health boards have, however, [767] been advised that they may make arrangements for the reimbursement to the hospital of the cost of drugs used in IVF treatment for medical card holders. In the case of private patients, the cost of the relevant drugs may be reclaimed under the refund of drugs scheme. Other than the assistance available in respect of drugs costs, the public health service does not provide any assistance towards the cost of IVF services available in this country.

The determination of eligibility for a medical card is a matter for the chief executive officer of the relevant health board.

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