Council proposal to write to Ministers over infertility care

SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly.

SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly.

Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Health and Community Committee has unanimously backed a proposal to write to the Health and Finance Ministers to ensure local couples can access three cycles of infertility treatment like their counterparts in Britain rather than just one as is currently the case.

The matter was raised by SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly but received cross-partisan support, including from Sinn Féin Councillor Elisha McCallion, who said it was a huge issue in the constituency and proposed that Council write to the Health Minister in support of a campaign to make three cycles of treatment available here.

Mr Reilly seconded the proposal with the amendment that the Council also write to the Finance Minister to ask him to ensure funds are made available.

Following the meeting, Mr Reilly said: “In England and elsewhere people are afforded the NICE guidelines of three full cycles of infertility treatment.

“This postcode lottery means that people here often go to considerable expense to pay privately for additional cycles of treatment.”