The Irish Government have allocated a budget of €10 million to support publicly funded IVF treatments. This long-awaited initiative is poised to provide hope and relief for many couples struggling with infertility, as well as redefine the landscape of assisted reproductive technologies in the country.
Patients who meet the eligibility criteria outlined by the HSE will have access to one cycle of either IVF or ICSI treatment. This service will initially be provided by approved private fertility providers on behalf of the HSE.
You'll need to meet certain criteria to get a referral.
The free treatments are:
- 1 round of IVF
- 1 round of ICSI
- 3 rounds of IUI
Free IVF, ICSI and IUI are not available through the public system to you yet if you:
- cannot use your own eggs or sperm
- are in a same-sex couple
- are single
The eligibility criteria outlined below have been released by the Department of Health
- Individuals must be legal residents of the State and should be referred to a Regional Fertility Hub by their GP.
- Self-referrals will not be accepted.
- The Body Mass Index (BMI) must fall within the range of 18.5 – 30.0 if you are a woman.
- The intending birth mother should be within the age range of 40 years plus 364 days at the time of referral to the Regional Fertility Hub, while the maximum age for male partners seeking treatment is 59 years plus 364 days.
- Eligible couples must not have any living children from their current relationship, and at least one partner must have no living child.
- Publicly funded treatment is available for individuals who have undergone a maximum of one previous IVF cycle, using all embryos created during that cycle.
- Couples or individuals will not be eligible for publicly funded treatment if either partner/individual has undergone voluntary sterilisation. This includes a vasectomy or blocking or sealing fallopian tubes.
- An assessment will be conducted to ensure the well-being of any children born as a result of treatment, primarily based on a self-declaration form.
- A maximum of two intending parents will be considered for a child born through treatment, and they must have been in a relationship for at least one year.
- Donor programmes will not be accessible in the September 2023 rollout for heterosexual, same-sex couples or single female patients. This will still be available privately.
The timeline has been set to rollout from September 2023. Sims IVF is an approved HSE Fertility Clinic.
People who are experiencing fertility issues should talk to their GP, who can do initial tests. Patients can then be referred by their GP to their local Regional Fertility Hub, where they can expect to avail of a wide range of investigations and interventions including: relevant blood tests, semen analysis, fertility-related surgeries and medical management of fertility challenges including ovulation induction with follicle tracking.
From September, if further advanced treatment is recommended by a Reproductive Medical Consultant and the patients meet the Criteria, the hubs will refer patients to a HSE-approved private provider of their choosing. There is no cost to patients for the recommended treatment through the private providers.
Free fertility treatment through the HSE is not means tested. You will not be asked how much you earn or details about your income.
Treatments are also available privately - this means they are not provided by HSE.
You can claim tax relief on the costs involved in private IVF treatment as part of the tax relief on medical expenses scheme. The drugs payment scheme covers drugs used as part of fertility treatment.