FERTILITY treatment could be made easier for hopeful parents with talk of a new IVF treatment centre in the south-west.
Monash IVF Network is looking to re-open services in the region nearly three years after a drop in numbers forced the closure of their Casterton satellite service.
A new clinic, which could be operated out of Casterton, Hamilton or Warrnambool, could be open as early as next year, according to chief executive James Thiedeman.
The IVF industry saw a major drop in the number of patients seeking services in 2010 after the government cut federal rebates.
“Certainly in the Western District the fall in patient numbers was more pronounced than across the state generally,” he said.
“Possibly that comes down to issues around affordability and the economic environment generally.
“We found that patient numbers were dropping and we weren’t able to sustain the service there.”
Mr Thiedeman said the death of Professor David Healy, who ran the Casterton service, in 2012, had left Monash IVF without the opportunity to simply re-open the Casterton service.
More than 200 babies were born to parents accessing IVF services through Casterton’s satellite clinic over the 12 years it was open.
“More recently Dr Moses Abe has been working in the south-west area, based out of Warrnambool,” Mr Thiedeman said.
“We’ve been talking about the prospect of reinitiating a service out west in the not too distant future.
“It will come down to whether or not we would be able to see a volume of patients that would allow the service to be sustainable.”
Full story in the Spectator on Saturday, January 25, 2014