December 5, 2008

Australian taxpayers help older mothers

Demand for taxpayer funded in-vitro fertilization among women over 40 in Australia has doubled in recent years, officials said.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph reported Friday that the number of women over 40 wishing to conceive has more than doubled government payments to IVF programs to $42.6 million in the last four years.

Michael Chapman from IVF Australia said the rate of successful pregnancy for women over 45 is appalling, the newspaper said.

We as doctors present the facts, and the facts are appalling, but if these patients insist that they could be the miracle, then we will go ahead, Chapman was quoted as saying.

The newspaper said in 2007-2008 there were 55,055 services provided to women under the IVF Assisted Reproductive Services program. Women age 40 and older received more than $11 million in services.

In 2004-05, the cost to taxpayers of IVF treatment for women age 40 and older was $20,474,986.

That $11 million cost of IVF means 300 children were born in those four years, which equates to about $30,000 per child. I think that's money well spent, Chapman said.