How IVF became a licence to print money.
As we tumble toward a hard Brexit and trade deals with the USA allowing the private sector into the heart of the NHS, we can see how things will work out in the already privatised IVF service in England and contrast it with the state-controlled and regulated version, in Scotland. See this from the Guardian today:
‘Private fertility clinics routinely try to sell desperate patients add-ons that almost certainly don’t help – why isn’t more done to monitor the industry? Around three-quarters of all IVF cycles fail. And results vary with age. Figures from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) published in March state the average live birth-rate for each fresh embryo transferred for women of all ages is 21%; for those aged under 35, it is 29% – the highest it has ever been. For older women, the picture is bleaker: 10% for women aged 40-42, for example. IVF is expensive. And what makes it worse, says Hugh Risebrow, the report’s author, is the lack of pricing transparency. “The headline prices quoted may be, say, £3,500, but you end up with a bill of £7,000,” he says. “This is because there are things not included that you need – and then things that are offered but are not evidence-based.”’
Creating opportunities for the private sector
In Tory-run NHS England, only 12% of boards offer three full cycles in line with official guidance. 61% offer only one cycle of treatment and 4% offer none at all. Private treatment costs between £1 343 and £5 788 per cycle.
Creating knock-on effects in women’s mental health
Failing to treat infertility can result in problems and further costs for the NHS in other areas. A Danish study of 98 737 women, between 1973 and 2003, showed that women who were unable to have children were 47% more likely to be hospitalised for schizophrenia and had a significantly higher risk of subsequent drug and alcohol abuse. See this:
Why UK politicians would like more privatisation in the NHS
There are 64 Tory and Labour (New) MPs with ‘links’ to private health care. Why would we trust them to protect the NHS? See this:
Well, leaving aside any obvious and probably tasteless suggestions, of superior potency in Scots males (I have 4, I think….bairns not testacles!), see this from ISD on 29th May 2018:
‘The four IVF centres in Scotland screened 370 eligible patients, compared with 362 in the previous quarter. 100% of patients were screened for IVF treatment within 365 days. The 90% target continues to be met since it was first measured in March 2015.’
‘That’s just the kind of meaningless whitabootery we get from cybernats like ‘prof’ Robertson. You can’t compare Scotland with England………eh, unless it’s GDP or…..drug abuse….or…..actually we’re running out of topics where we can even lie about Scotland being worse than the non-Scottish parts of the UK.’