Geelong will become the fourth regional Victorian city to have public access to fertility treatment including IVF, with University Hospital opening a satellite clinic capable of treating 100 patients in its first year.
The state government backed service has already been opened in Warrnambool, Mildura and Bendigo over the last year, with health officials in Geelong this week to announce the new service for Barwon Health.
Fertility Service lead Dr. Prue Johnstone said the service is a game-changer for locals looking to start a family, saving up to $10,000 for IVF treatment.
“Some people have to access their superannuation to pay for private IVF,” Dr. Johnstone said.
“This will be a big game changer for those patients.”
Eligible patients will be offered a range of services including specialist consultations, diagnostic tests and ultrasounds.
Victorian Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas was at the hospital for the announcement, saying it will help reduce stress, travel and costs for locals.
“We know that for many people, the joy of starting or growing a family can be a really challenging journey for them,” Ms Thomas said.
“What our government wants to make sure, is that where we live, or the price of fertility services should not be factors in the decisions you make about growing your family.”
It comes following the announcement of a new Barwon Women’s and Children’s Hospital based in Geelong.