‘Wild West’ Of IVF Clinics In Ireland Exposed

People Before Profit – Paul Murphy TD – Press statement – 20/04/22

  • ‘Wild West’ of IVF clinics in Ireland exposed
  • Increasing commercialisation, pushing unproven add ons highlight complete lack of regulation
  • Call for IVF services to be fully public, free and not-for-profit

An investigative series of articles by journalist Ellen Coyne in yesterday’s Irish independent exposes the “Wild West of Irish IVF clinics” according to Paul Murphy TD.

The articles highlighted how some fertility clinics are charging up to €450 for blood tests that some couples could get far cheaper from their GP, and how other clinics are selling unproven ‘add-ons’ to IVF treatments. A former member of staff at one of the clinics also spoke out about how they felt they were pushed to ‘sell’ IVF treatment. The clinics’ sponsorship deals with ‘social influencers’ to promote IVF were also highlighted. One couple spoke of how they considered some of the unproven add ons out of ‘desperation’ but were informed by their own doctor that they were not backed by proper science.

Paul Murphy TD and his partner Jess recently shared the story of their ongoing IVF treatments, and the challenges and costs involved. Responding to the latest reports, Deputy Murphy said:

“These shocking stories highlight how IVF services in Ireland are an unregulated wild west. Not only is Ireland the only EU country not to provide publicly funded IVF, but we also have a complete lack of regulations on the private for-profit companies involved. Where other countries have strict requirements for what information and warnings they need to tell couples, here it’s all self-regulation. 

“It’s clear there is increasing commercialisation of IVF treatment here, with more and more big private medical companies trying to get in on it and make money. The result is unproven and expensive add-ons are being pushed, and many people are so desperate that they will pay to try anything. It is shocking to hear of staff feel they have to resign as they are being pushed to ‘sell’ treatment, rather than actually supporting people to make whatever decision is best for them. 

“This expose underlines the need for IVF services to be fully public, free and not for profit. There is no place for profiteering and commercialisation here.”