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MS criticises lack of support for families seeking IVF treatment in north Wales

06 Oct 2023 3 minute read
Siân Gwenllian MS

A Plaid Cymru MS has criticised the lack of support faced by families seeking IVF treatment in the north Wales.

Siân Gwenllian MS, who represents Arfon, condemned the limited options for families after supporting a constituent during the process.

Ms Gwenllian said that the lack of services is the latest in “a string of gaps within local health provision” and is yet another example of having to travel out of Wales to access treatment.

Highlighting the need to improve fertility expertise within Gwynedd, MS Gwenllian said: “Whilst supporting a constituent who was trying to access IVF services, it has become apparent that families from the north of Wales who are seeking IVF treatment are limited in their options.

“It seems that those pursuing IVF in the region are encouraged to do so in England, which is an injustice on so many levels.

“The family that I have been in contact with had an experience that I’m sure would echo with other families in the north of Wales. They had to make twelve journeys within six weeks to receive the treatment.

“It is fundamentally unfair to expect families to make such concessions. Needless to say, not all families have access to a vehicle, or can take time off from work to make clinic visits far from home.”

Dire need

The MS stated that gaps in provision weren’t an isolated event.

“The absence of a local IVF service is the latest in a string of gaps within local health provision.

“Only recently I have raised the dire need for a specialist unit for local mothers facing mental health problems after childbirth, rather than having to venture over the border to England.”

Ms Gwenllian said that issues with fertility are common, and that better support needed to be provided locally.

“Given that approximately one in four women face fertility issues, it is simply unacceptable that there is no dedicated IVF clinic in the north of Wales.

“The requirement for women to travel to England for treatment not only makes it financially unviable for many but also deprives them of receiving care in their native language.

She added: “It is essential that we address the pressing need for accessible and adequate IVF services locally, ensuring that families facing fertility challenges can access the care they require free from the barriers that currently exist.”

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