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Fertility Treatment and the NHS

Comment 15th July 2010

Although not a law or regulation I want repealing, I feel very strongly that fertility treatment should not be funded by the NHS.  It is not life threatening and is not what the NHS was set up for. I accept how distressing it is for people desperate for a child and I'm not saying this treatment shouldn't be available, just that it shouldn't be available on the NHS. A child is a gift, not a right and, with NHS resources stretched to the limit, the funds required to run fertility clinics are at the expense of other NHS services which are struggling to treat illnesses.

Why does this matter?

Because the pressure on NHS budgets means that some tough (and unpopular) decisions need to be made about where its resources are best applied. Whilst the NHS is indeed something to be proud of and which we should strive to preserve, this has turned it into a bit of a sacred cow where no-one dares to challenge it too much or ask difficult questions. One of those questions should be whether or not, in our desire to keep abreast of new technologies and treatments, we have lot sight of some of the fundamental principles upon which the NHS was originally founded. Just because a treatment is possible doesn't automatically mean it has to be made available on the NHS.   

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