Mumbai: The civic-run King Edward Memorial hospital will soon get its first In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF) clinic.
A husband-wife duo —IVF specialist and KEM medical college ex-students — have approached the hospital administration to start the clinic. The initiative will benefit poor infertile couples who cannot afford the expenses and treatment from private clinics.
Dr Anjali and Dr Aniruddha Malpani, alumni and IVF specialists, have decided to contribute Rs75 lakh to Rs1 crore to set up the facility and fund IVF cycles. They have also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to set up the facility on the hospital premises.
According to the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction, infertility currently affects about 10 to 14 per cent of the Indian populace, with higher rates in urban areas where one of six couples is impacted. Nearly 27.5 million couples actively trying to conceive suffer from infertility in India.
“We wanted our knowledge and expertise to benefit people at the grassroots level. Currently, IVF is available in private hospitals, but people cannot afford it, as it costs Rs 2-3 lakh for the first cycle. We wanted to provide this service at a civic hospital and help the poor women conceive. We will soon start a clinic on the hospital premises,” said Dr Anjali.
KEM Hospital has been cooperative and have entered into an agreement with the couple. And each year, the couple will provide Rs50 lakh to this centre. The first cycle of IVF treatment will be free of costs for the patients.
Dr Hemant Deshmukh, the KEM dean, said the facility was shut down due to the huge costs involved since the first test tube baby was born at the hospital in 1986. With the new facility, KEM Hospital will be the only public hospital to offer the IVF treatment.
“It is perhaps the first time a civic hospital will have a clinic-cum-unit to offer IVF treatment. The ex-students have made a lot of efforts to provide patients with IVF treatment at an affordable rate,” he said.