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Monday, 25 November, 2002, 13:36 GMT
Fertility fees to rise
Frozen sperm
The HFEA says it needs the extra money
A fee charged to patients having IVF to pay for the industry regulator is to more than double, it was revealed today.

Government ministers agreed a multi-million pound rise in the budget of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority on Monday.

Some of this is to be met from central funds, but some will be passed on to private patients.

This means the fee added to the costs of every cycle of IVF rises from 40 to 100.

The equivalent fee for each cycle of donor insemination rises from 20 to 50.

The average cycle of IVF costs 1,800 in the UK. Donor insemination costs between 400 and 600 on average, excluding the cost of drugs.

Most women need more than one cycle of treatment to become pregnant.

Forced out

The annual budget of the HFEA will rise from just over 2m to 5.5m - 1m of which comes directly from government.

The money will go to help the HFEA carry out more in-depth inspections of clinics and improve training for its inspectors.

The government decision was made just days after the authority's former chief executive, Dr Maureen Dalziel, was forced out after a unanimous vote of no confidence.

Health minister Hazel Blears said: "Britain is placed to be a world leader in human genetics and embryology research.

"It is essential that the HFEA is a strong and effective regulator.

"It faces an increasingly difficult task as greater numbers of people undergo fertility treatment and the available technology develops rapidly."

See also:

18 Nov 02 | Health
17 Jul 02 | Politics
08 Jul 02 | Health
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