Thursday, 19 November 2009

AMs hail victory in IVF campaign

A campaign for extra IVF funding in Wales which was spearheaded by a Pembrokeshire woman and local AM Angela Burns has won a significant victory.

Kara Ellard from Clynderwen and Mrs Burns have been lobbying for NHS funding for three cycles of IVF – as recommended by NICE guidelines. At present women in
Wales can only get one cycle paid for by the NHS.

But at an IVF briefing hosted by
Mrs Burns in the Senedd on Tuesday the Welsh Health Minister Edwina Hart announced that women will now get two funded cycles.

"This is a great victory for people power and I can’t praise Kara enough for her hard work and determination in securing a fairer deal for women in
Wales," said Mrs Burns.

Mrs Ellard helped collect a 4,000 signature petition calling for parity between
Wales and the rest of the UK in IVF funding which Mrs Burns handed to the Assembly Government last month.

Mrs Ellard has spent 12 years and £10,000 trying to get pregnant through IVF. She had seven cycles of treatment before she became pregnant, only one of which was funded by the NHS.

"Getting two cycles funded instead of one is great news and I’m really pleased," she said.

"I think it was definitely public pressure that’s done this. All along we’ve been getting standard letters saying that they were not going to change the system and now they have."

Mrs Burns added: "When the Conservatives held a debate on this issue in July in the Health Minister ruled out changing the system so I am delighted that public pressure has made her change her mind."

However Mrs Burns will continue to fight for funding for the recommended three cycles.

"The evidence shows that giving women three rounds of IVF treatment gives them the best chance of conceiving and that is what women in
Wales deserve," she said. "You have a 65 % chance of conceiving with three cycles and only a 50% chance with just two, so although this news will make a big difference, it doesn’t go far enough."

Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies also praised Mrs Ellard’s fight.

"She has fought an excellent public campaign to highlight this injustice and I’m delighted that she has secured the extra funding.

"The Welsh Conservatives will continue to press for three funded cycles to bring us into line with the rest of the UK."

Clynderwen IVF campaigner Kara Ellard is pictured with South Pembrokeshire AM Angela Burns and Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies at Mrs Burns’ IVF briefing at the Senedd.


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