Wider IVF access vital, says Durkan

Mark H. Durkan.
Mark H. Durkan.

SDLP health spokesperson Mark H. Durkan has said there should be wider access to in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment on the NHS.

He said that with 1 in 7 people across the North experiencing difficulty having children greater access to IVF is vital.

“The SDLP recognise that the journey of fertility is often fraught with difficulties but is an extremely important one for many people. This is why we are the only party who made reference to the vital need for increased IVF support in our manifesto.

“We want to see a wider access to IVF treatment on the NHS with an increase in entitlement to three IVF cycles, as is the case in Scotland,” said Mr. Durkan.

He said people needed to be supported and educated on the process. Informed men and women would, he said, be better equipped to navigate the issue.

“Infertility support services are essential to ensure people are assisted on every step of their journey. This includes promoting the generally unheard voices of men in this campaign as well as fostering supportive work environments for those undergoing treatment.

“The SDLP have consistently raised this issue both at Westminster and Stormont over the years, in fact I had proposed a motion prior to the collapse of the Assembly, in relation to securing multiple cycles of IVF on the NHS.

“Granted this is only one step of many required, alongside increased funding to tackle the stresses, both physical and mental which are part and parcel of this challenging process. Decisive action on this crucial matter demands a voice fighting your cause, to do that we need representation where it matters, whether that’s Westminster or Stormont,” said Mr. Durkan.