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27th Jul 2023

Plans to include BMI criteria in new IVF scheme sparks outrage among public

Kat O'Connor

There has been outrage among the public over plans to include a person’s BMI in the criteria for free IVF.

This week, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly revealed plans to offer a free round of IVF to hopeful parents.

However, the free scheme includes strict criteria such as analysing a person’s BMI and age.

The State will cover a full cycle of IVF for couples who fit the criteria.

However, it has been met with major backlash, particularly because it excludes same-sex couples.

Our readers expressed their outrage over the means of eligibility.

One person responded to the news and said: “BMI? Seriously. It’s so outdated and was never intended for individual assessment.”

Another added: “Shockingly unfair but really shouldn’t be surprised with the lack of equality given. What about same-sex couples who are in similar circumstances? Nothing for them? So disappointing.”

“BMI is a totally outdated concept. What about women with Pcos etc? Where’s the equality in this?” another asked.

“It’s unjustifiable as a whole. It will benefit so few of the couples. Only allowed to have done 1 round previously! Unfair/ outrageous! Nothing like other European countries,” one shared.

Women who have not yet had IVF or have had one full treatment can access the scheme. They will be entitled to one full round of IVF, which will be funded by the State. The state may also provide up to three cycles of IUI (intrauterine insemination treatment).

IUI is less invasive than IVF. This will be available to those who fit the criteria.

The scheme will be available to women aged under 41, as well as couples who do not have children.

Couples with a known clinical reason for their infertility will be able to access the programme.