The report on the 12 month Review of IVF legislation in Victoria conducted by Russell Kennedy Principal, Michael Gorton AM, was recently released by the Victorian Health Minister, Jenny Mikakos.
This news has been covered by The Age here.
The Review makes over 80 recommendations in relation to the regulation and control of IVF services in Victoria.
Michael Gorton said that Victorians can be proud of its IVF sector, which is world leading in treatment and research, but his review identified key areas for improvement.
- The Report identified that IVF services in Victoria were expensive and beyond the reach of many families. The Victorian Government will examine establishing public IVF services in Victoria to provide services for Victorians who might not otherwise be able to afford them, and to compete with the private sector.
- There is inadequate information to patients about total costs.
- Information on the effectiveness and treatments was inconsistent. There was sometimes a lack of information or misleading information in relation to the effectiveness of some treatments offered at substantial prices. Information on success rates also could be standardised.
- Access especially for those of an non English speaking background, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and the LGBTI community needed to be culturally sensitive and improve.
- Quality and safety measures needed to be enhanced with some couples reporting that they felt they were on a production line. Improvement in counselling services at all stages of care was required and better work was needed to avoid harm to health and mental health patients.
Mr Gorton made over 80 recommendations which seek to achieve:
- Improved access to all Victorians.
- Reduced cost in some regulatory burdens.
- Strengthened the co-regulatory system between the private sector and Government, with more powers for the regulator.
- A focus on safety and quality of care for patients.
- Making donor treatments and surrogacy easier and cheaper.
- Providing more information to patients particularly about costs and risks.
- Enhanced the therapeutic counselling at all stages of care.
Michael Gorton is a recognised expert health lawyer, and was asked by the Victorian Government in 2018 to conduct this Review. It is the largest review of IVF legislation conducted in Australia for over a decade. It received hundreds of responses from the community, conducted over 50 targeted consultations and commissioned socio-economic reviews by Deloitte Access Economics.
Mr Gorton said that he was grateful that so many Victorians were able to share their personal stories and experiences to enhance the Review.
The full report can be viewed here.
Michael's report on IVF legislation in Victoria has been covered by Channel 9 here, Channel 7 here, ABC News here and by the Premier of Victoria here.
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