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UK trailing behind on IVF access

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The UK is one of the least effective countries in Europe for offering childless couples access to IVF treatment, it has been revealed.

A survey by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (Eshre) placed the country 11th, in a list of 13, for providing just 729 IVF treatment cycles per million of population.

This is three times lower than the top countries Denmark and Belgium, who offer 2,337 and 2,187 treatment cycles per million respectively. The only two countries to have lower rates were Germany, at 664, and Montenegro, with 408.

Eshre’s European IVF Monitoring Consortium collected the data for the Assisted Reproductive Technology survey in 2006.

Clare Lewis-Jones, chief executive of the charity Infertility Network UK, said: ‘We are angry that although the UK pioneered infertility treatment, we are still among the lowest providers in Europe.

‘More needs to be done by primary care trusts in England to ensure that patients have equal and timely access to the full range of treatment recommended by NICE, and to tackle the on-going variations in provision that exist across the country.’

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