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Louis Ng urges Govt to provide more help to older women trying to have children through IVF

"If MOH can provide the subsidies which will help reduce the stress levels, then maybe we will have a higher percentage of success for IVF cycles for those aged 40 and above," said Mr Ng

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Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng urged the Government to provide more help to older women trying to have children through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), in Parliament this week. Mr Ng and his colleague, Dr Lee Bee Wah, pointed out that IVF cycles could be more successful if the Government can help reduce the financial stress women who go through the procedure face.

Senior Minister of State Amy Khor told the House that the Government co-funds Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures for women over the age of 40, as long as they have attempted assisted reproduction or intra-uterine insemination (IUI) procedures before they turned 40 years old.

Dr Lee Bee Wah pointed out that a woman who gets married after the age of 40 and cannot conceive will not be eligible for Government co-funding since she would not have attempted assisted reproduction or IUI procedures before she turned 40.

Sharing that the success rate of IUI treatments could be lower than that of IVF procedures, Dr Lee asked whether the Ministry of Health could encourage women with fertility issues to undergo IVF procedures directly instead of making them undergo two rounds of IUI procedures, so they could save time and money.

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Amy Khor responded that although the Government acknowledges that more couples are now choosing to get married later, empirical evidence still shows that the success of fertility treatments is linked to age. She added that the current requirements for IVF co-funding are set so as to encourage couples to seek help for fertility issues early and that IUI procedures are encouraged as a first line of treatment since it is less invasive.

Mr Ng spoke up and said that while he agrees that policies should be based on science, he believes that the Government can help alleviate the financial stress women who undergo IVF face since science also shows that stress is a key factor in determining the success of an IVF cycle.

The parliamentarian said: “I agree with SMS Amy that our policies should be based on science. But science also tells us that stress faced is a key factor in determining whether an IVF cycle is successful.

“A lot of the couples are very stressed because of the finances involved in an IVF cycle. If MOH can provide the subsidies which will help reduce the stress levels, then maybe we will have a higher percentage of success for IVF cycles for those age 40 and above.”

On Facebook, Mr Ng once again called on the Government to remove the IVF co-funding requirement. He wrote: “I’m glad MOH will continue to monitor this but hope they will change the policy and remove the requirement that a woman who is older than 40 years old is required to have attempted assisted reproduction or intra-uterine insemination (IUI) procedures before age 40 to be eligible for Government co-funded Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures.”

Mr Ng has been speaking up in Parliament to make the IVF process a fairer one over the past few years. In 2017, he asked MOH to consider making neo-natal insurance for IVF compulsory at the point of a positive pregnancy blood test rather than at the point of embryo transfer, since this may help couples trying to conceive.

In 2019, he asked MOH for clarity on the rationale behind barring women above 45 years old from receiving in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments in Singapore and the rationale behind limiting the number of IVF fresh cycles for women above 40 years old.

In response to Mr Ng’s question on whether these policies will be reviewed, the MOH said that the policies are set to protect patients’ interests, but appeals are considered on a case-by-case basis. It added that the limits are reviewed regularly.

Helping those going through IVF

[ Let’s help those going through IVF ]We should provide more help for those above 40 years old and trying to have children through IVF ?? I joined MP Lee Bee Wah to speak up about this.I agree with SMS Amy that our policies should be based on science. But science also tells us that stress faced is a key factor in determining whether an IVF cycle is successful. A lot of the couples are very stressed because of the finances involved in an IVF cycle. If MOH can provide the subsidies which will help reduce the stress levels, then maybe we will have a higher percentage of success for IVF cycles for those age 40 and above.I’m glad MOH will continue to monitor this but hope they will change the policy and remove the requirement that a woman who is older than 40 years old is required to have attempted assisted reproduction or intra-uterine insemination (IUI) procedures before age 40 to be eligible for Government co-funded Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures.Check out the video for the full debate we had. What do you think ?Help "Share" and spread the word ? Thanks!#LouisNgParliamentaryQuestions#WeLoveNeeSoonEast#NeeSoonCares #HomeWithAHeart

Posted by Louis Ng Kok Kwang on Wednesday, May 27, 2020

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