City Fertility Centre has experienced a 19 per cent increase in demand for assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment in 2011 across its Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Adelaide clinics.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) figures released recently (October 26, 2012) for 2010 showed a 13 per cent drop in the number of ART cycles performed in Australia – the same year the government capped the Medicare rebate for fertility treatment.
City Fertility Centre chief executive officer and chief scientist Adnan Catakovic said that while the clinic had also experienced a drop (7 per cent) in 2010, there had been a significant bounce-back in 2011 for its services.
“It is our belief that as finances are being stretched further as a result of the Medicare increases, patients are now giving very careful consideration to how they spend their health dollar and are now highly selective,” Mr Catakovic said.
“We have attributed our growth in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and more recently Victoria and South Australia to our personalised approach to care that really gives patients confidence in the CFC doctors and team.”
In 2010, fewer women in Australia and New Zealand used ART treatments to conceive, but there had been improved success rates among this smaller group, according to the AIHW report.
The report, Assisted reproductive technology in Australia and New Zealand 2010, shows that about 61,800 ART treatment cycles were performed in Australia and New Zealand in 2010 (56,500 and 5300 respectively).
This is a fall of 13 per cent for Australia and 1 per cent for New Zealand, and is the first time the trans-Tasman neighbours have recorded a drop in ART use, according to the AIHW report.
There were about 12,100 live-born babies following ART treatments in 2010, with almost three-quarters of these (74 per cent) being full-term single births of normal weight.
The majority (95 per cent) of women undergoing ART treatment cycles used their own eggs or embryos, while the remainder used either donor eggs or other forms of ART, such as surrogacy. The average age of women using their own eggs or embryos was 36, while the average age of women using donor eggs or embryos was 41.