'Government-run IVF centres necessary to help poor'
All fertility clinics in the state are run privately and charge Rs 1-2 lakh for treatment
BENGALURU: Those from middle and low-economic groups in the state suffer the brunt of expensive infertility treatment as the state does not have any government-run in vitro fertilisation centres. Currently, all IVF centres in the state are privately-run with treatments costing up to Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. Dr Savitha C, head of department (obstetrician and gynaecology), Vani Vilas Hospital, said the incidence of infertility has risen among both men and women due to several reasons - issues related to PCOD/PCOS, fibroids, pelvic inflammatory diseases, endometriosis among women and blockages in the male reproductive organs. Late marriage, hormonal issues, lifestyle, age-related factors and stress are common for both genders.
“People who are not from affluent backgrounds often end up spending a large chunk of their savings on IVF treatments in these private establishments due to constant societal pressure to conceive a baby,” she added.
The state government had announced the setting up of four IVF centres in Bengaluru, Kalaburagi, Hubballi and Mysuru. Vani Vilas Hospital, affiliated to Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, was where the first IVF centre is expected to be set up. A proposal stating details of infrastructure, required equipment and human resources was also sent in December 2022 by the hospital. However, the election and change in government has put the process on halt.
Parliament had passed the Assistive Reproductive Technology (regulation) Act in 2021 to regulate and supervise clinics providing reproductive help. However, the state formed an authority only last year.
Dr Vivek Dorai, deputy director at the department of health, also rooted for setting up of government-run IVF centres because of its high treatment cost. He said that of hundreds of IVF centres, 98 centres are registered under the ART act.