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Access to treatment expands.
The Scottish Government has once again exceeded its IVF target, ahead of changes which will mean more people are eligible for treatment.
All but one eligible patient (99.7%) were screened for IVF treatment within 365 days across Scotland within 12 months of being referred, during the quarter ending June 2016.
From Thursday (1 September) couples where one partner does not have a biological child will be eligible for IVF access, even if there are children in the home. This is the first recommendation to be implemented from the National Infertility Group report published in June.
Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said:
“Scotland is leading the way in the provision of NHS IVF treatment and I’m really pleased that we continue to meet and exceed our target.
“For couples who are struggling to conceive it can be a very difficult time. IVF treatment can provide an opportunity to help them have that longed-for baby.
“We want to make sure that access to treatment on the NHS is as fair as it possibly can be - giving more people the opportunity to conceive. Over the last four years we have invested around £18 million to reduce IVF waiting times and improve the outcomes for couples undergoing this treatment.
“I’m delighted that from Thursday, more families across Scotland will be able to access this treatment.”
Reducing waiting times for IVF patients potentially improves the chance of a successful outcome.
The Scottish Government determined that the IVF waiting times target should be delivered for at least 90 per cent of patients from 1 April 2015, as for some it may not be clinically appropriate for treatment to begin within 12 months.
Latest waiting times figures are available here: http://www.isdscotland.org/
The National Infertility Group report is published here: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/06/9960