Mumbai : Availability of best-quality drugs, new techniques and equipments, experienced doctors in the field and awareness among couples has led to an increase in the success rate of In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment from 15 percent to 50 percent over the years, said Dr Indira Hinduja, the infertility specialist who is attached with PD Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai.
However, the treatment is still not affordable for the lower-economic strata group owing to expensive costs and therefore, the IVF experts emphasize that the costs should be brought down and the treatment should be included in the government schemes which provide the treatment at affordable costs.
The cost of IVF treatment starts with Rs 1.5-1.75 lakh which includes start of the treatment with drugs, monitoring of the drugs, extraction of the egg, fertilisation, growing the embryo and transfer of the embryo. However, the second range of Rs 2 lakh is the decision of the couples who want to get the testing of the embryo to find out if there is any presence of congenital defects.
Today, none of the civic hospitals have the facility for IVF treatment as the maintenance cost of the department is too high. BJ Wadia Hospital became the first government hospital to start the IVF unit in January this year who will be providing the treatment to the couples at half the cost of the treatment available at private hospital.
Dr Hinduja said, “The success rate has reached 50 percent but we are yet to cross the 50 percent rate owing to various barriers which includes the poor quality of the egg and sperm and huge cost of treatment. Sometimes, despite of various attempts, the woman is still not able to conceive and due to the low paying capacity, the couples do not continue the treatment. The treatment facility is not available in any of the civic hospitals which are definitely acting as a huge setback for people coming from poor economic strata.”
IVF experts express that the set-up of an IVF unit costs to Rs 2 crore which and the maintenance costs further makes it difficult to run the department. “The department was shut down at KEM hospital because the municipal corporation found it difficult to provide the funds for this. Today, we have all the facilities and techniques but still there are number of childless couples who cannot take the advantage of the facility owing to the huge costs. It is crucial that the government brings down the cost of the treatment and should consider including the treatment in the government medical schemes and insurances which could provide the treatment at subsidised rates.”