Oh baby! The Royal's low-cost IVF program gives hope to many
Eight-week old Charlotte Douaihy made national headlines recently, as one of the first dozen babies to be conceived through the Royal Hospital for Women's new low-cost IVF service.
Proud parents, Christie and James, are in awe of the dream team at the hospital's Fertility & Research Centre for bringing their daughter into the world, and providing an affordable option for families struggling to have a baby of their own.
“We are over the moon that our little miracle is finally here, after wanting to have a baby for so long,” Ms Douaihy said.
The couple heard about the program through a friend, after trying to conceive for about 18 months.
“We looked into other options, such as private clinics, but from an affordability point of view The Royal's program was very attractive,” Ms Douaihy said.
Helping couples to have the family they wish for is one of the most rewarding jobs in medicine, according to Professor Bill Ledger, who heads up the hospital's reproductive medicine services.
“A healthy birth after IVF marks the end of a long and often arduous process for the mother and her partner, and I'm thrilled to announce we can now offer an affordable option,” Professor Ledger said.
The Royal Hospital for Women's pregnancy rate per embryo transfer is among the best in the country, according to Professor Ledger.
“We have one of the top teams in Australia – we treat some of the most complex cases with innovative treatments, and conduct world-class research into reproductive medicine,” Professor Ledger said.
The Royal Hospital for Women is one of three services offering affordable IVF for eligible families in NSW; the other two programs are located at Royal Prince Alfred and Westmead hospitals.
Typically, one IVF cycle costs around $11,000, with approximately half of this expense reimbursed through Medicare. At the Royal Hospital for Women, out-of-pocket expenses are capped at $1,000 per IVF cycle, and $765 for subsequent frozen embryo treatment cycles.
The service provides care for women experiencing infertility up to 41 years of age, or before the 42nd birthday. Patients coming through the program require a referral from their GP.