Written Answers. - Infertility Treatment Centres.

Deirdre Clune


204 Ms Clune asked the Minister for Health and Children the plans, if any, he has to introduce an infertility treatment centre, IVF, in the Southern Health Board region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5071/00]

The Southern Health Board, which is the body responsible for the provision of health services within the board's area, has advised me that while there are no plans at present to introduce an IVF treatment service, it is the case that the post of professor of obstetrics with the board has recently become vacant following the retirement of Professor Jenkins. The post will be advertised within the next few weeks, but the board is not in a position to say, in advance of the filling of the post, whether the new professor will have a special interest in IVF services.

The position with regard to the treatment of couples with infertility problems in the Southern Health Board is that in addition to the facilities available at Tralee General Hospital for investigation and treatment of basic forms of infertility, there is an intra-uterine insemination service available at Erinville Hospital. This involves ovulation stimulation followed by artificial insemination at a precise time. If a woman is not suitable for this treatment or if it is unsuccessful, she will be referred to the HARI Institute in Dublin, the Regional Fertility Centre in University College Hospital, Galway or the Infertility Centre in Belfast for IVF.