Fertility Treatment

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Health, Social Services and Public Safety – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:00 pm on 14 October 2002.

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Photo of Bairbre de Brún Bairbre de Brún Sinn Féin 3:00, 14 October 2002

There are two difficulties with regard to the future. One is obvious in today’s context; the other is that, on an increasing number of issues, Members have asked about disaggregating the information to a level which simply is not possible. It is difficult to acquire the information, and it would place the system under added pressure.

With regard to improving the service, it was precisely because this was such a difficult matter and because there was no publicly funded sub-fertility service, that I decided to proceed with an interim service while working on what should be provided in future. The interim service provides only limited service, based on existing resources. However, I emphasise that it enables some couples to have access to publicly funded sub-fertility treatment, which, formerly, was provided only privately.