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hiya, i'm sure you must get asked this alot but aren't the NHS wrong in only treating totally childless couples when it comes to IVF. I'm 28 and have a 10 yr old but my partner has no children and we need ivf to conceive but we are not eligable for it on the NHS as i have a daughter. my partner has no biological children and i feel that the NHS are discriminating against him as i have a child. That'snot his fault and he want's children or at least one but we have to pay privately when some people in other counties get it free. how is that legally fair? thanks
 

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Hi Bungle

I totally agree that it's not fair but unfortunately it's not clearly illegal for the criteria to vary.  The National Institute for Clinical Excellence introduced some guidelines a few years ago to try and standardise the availability of funding across the UK, but unfortunately these are just recommendations and they have never really been implemented.  Funding eligibility criteria is left to individual PCTs and they vary enormously.  Infertility Network UK has been tirelessly campaigning for better funding and, if you're not already, you might want to become a member of INUK to keep you up to date with the latest news on this.

You might be able to challenge the eligibility criteria on the basis that:

- they the Equality Act (but for this you'd need to show discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, disability, sex or sexual orientation - which I don't think applies), or

- that the lack of funding infringes your human rights (though this is tricky because you'd have to show that the infringement was not justified and you'd then come up against the old issue of the state setting priorities and deciding to fund other things - like cancer treatment - in preference to infertility treatment).

It's difficult stuff this.  I have enormous sympathy with you, but sadly just because something is unfair doesn't mean it is illegal, and I think a legal challenge would very much be an uphill struggle.

Best of luck.

Natalie

 
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