ART no longer part of free public health services in Denmark

In light of the need to prioritise public expenditure, the Danish goverment decided this month to implement a legislative amendment, so that Assisted Reproduction Treatment (ART) will no longer be part of the free public health services.

'This is sad news considering Denmark has always been praised as the benchmark in Europe in terms of access and availability of treatment for patients seeking ART' said Dr. Søren Ziebe from the University Hospital in Copenhagen, Executive Committee Member of ESHRE and the SIG coordinator of all SIGs at ESHRE.

Denmark until now provided reimbursement for assisted reproduction treatments (ART) with up to three treatment trials for married and unmarried couples, singles and homosexuals.

The Danish government has allocated a pool of a mere 50 million Danish Krone (approximately 6.7 million Euros) for groups with special needs only. The cuts in this area will decrease government spending by 200 million Danish Krone (EUR 26.9 million) annually in 2011, 2012, 2013 and thereafter.

In 2007, 4.9% of all children born in Denmark were babies conceived with the help of ART, according to the ESHRE European IVF Monitoring Group (EIM). With 2,558 cycles per million inhabitants annually, Denmark has the highest availability of ART in Europe. 'Every school class in Denmark has two IVF children on average' said Dr. Ziebe. 'These changes will have major implications and detrimental effect for childless couples, for fertility clinics and the research environment in Denmark.'

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