IVF Babble India

IVF Developments and the Union Budget 2022

India is, thankfully, seeing an increase in both public and private spending on healthcare, making it one of the largest sectors in the country

This increase in spending has seen a welcome growth in service and availability, meaning that the medical market is expanding at a speed never seen before.

A significant part of this expansion is in the fertility industry – not just for Indian citizens, but as a worldwide medical hub for overseas travellers looking for trustworthy fertility treatments. And it’s this rise in people from overseas that has piqued the interest of policymakers in India.

Due to various reasons including careers and finding the right partner meaning couples and individuals are wishing to become parents later in life, as well as different lifestyle and genetic health concerns, there has been a marked increase in people seeking assisted fertility techniques.

Over the past 20 years, the fertility rate in India has been declining

It’s now thought that the Total Fertility Rate in the country has fallen to a low of two children per female of childbearing age. 15 years ago, the rate stood at 2.7.

In today’s world, other factors are adding to this decline, including global pandemic related stress and lockdown related social factors. So IVF and other assisted fertility procedures are becoming, and will become, a more mainstream medical need. In the coming years, more couples and individuals will be undergoing these treatments than in previous years.

That’s why many are calling for these treatments to be included in health insurance policies, because they don’t come cheap, especially for the average person in India. Of course, the social stigma of IVF still frustratingly remains, particularly in rural communities. But those in larger towns and cities, who perhaps aren’t exposed to such stigmas, still can’t access the help they need, due to costs.

It’s generally considered that making assisted fertility treatments available under health insurance schemes will not only help financially, it’ll help to reduce the burden of stigma, by making it more mainstream as it becomes more accessible. Plus, being regulated by insurance policies will help to ensure the industry itself is more tightly regulated.

Since a pregnancy conceived without medical procedures is covered by insurance, it makes sense that an assisted pregnancy or treatment should also be covered.

Dr Kshitiz Murdia, CEO and Co-Founder of Indira IVF says in a recent FE Healthcare article “The government should bring IVF treatments under health insurance parameters. Financial support through insurance will bring much relief to such couples and it will also encourage more penetration of such treatments in small cities/towns. Including fertility treatments in health insurance plans will minimise the financial risks of anyone seeking help.”

So it was welcome news in December that the Government approved the ART (Regulation) Bill as it’s opened the door to the implementation of and adherence to properly regulated practices

The bill sets standards and codes of conduct for fertility clinics and sperm and egg donor centres and allows more transparency to those seeking help, allowing for more informed decisions on what is such an important topic.

The future is looking brighter for those struggling with infertility in India and beyond. More education and social acceptance will also help and is badly needed, but the prospects of those seeking assisted fertility are certainly on the up. And we celebrate that.

What are your thoughts on this? We would love to hear from you. You can either comment here or contact us at myview@ivfbabbleindia.com

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