The Member of the Senedd for Arfon says that families living in the north of Wales who are seeking IVF treatment have limited options, after supporting a constituent during the process.
The MS claims that the lack of services is the latest in “a string of gaps within local health provision”, and is yet another example of having to travel out of Wales to access treatment.
The MS’ calls for improving fertility expertise within Gwynedd arose from her local work as an MS, supporting a constituent who has faced challenges whilst trying to access IVF treatment. The constituent wished to remain anonymous.
According to Siân Gwenllian:
“Whilst supporting a constituent who was trying to access IVF services, it has become apparent that families from the north of Wales who are seeking IVF treatment are limited in their options.
“It seems that those pursuing IVF in the region are encouraged to do so in England, which is an injustice on so many levels.
“The family that I have been in contact with had an experience that I’m sure would echo with other families in the north of Wales. They had to make twelve journeys within six weeks to receive the treatment.
“It is fundamentally unfair to expect families to make such concessions. Needless to say not all families have access to a vehicle, or can take time off from work to make clinic visits far from home.
“And it’s not just the process itself.
“The constituent that I have been in contact with spoke of how patients, following the treatment itself, may find themselves needing specialist healthcare professionals who understand the potential side effects and complications that arise from fertility treatments.
“The lack of proximity to such expertise can lead to delayed treatment for medical issues that would be more rapidly addressed by specialists more local to patients.”
The MS claimed that gaps in this provision wasn’t an isolated event.
“The absence of local IVF service is the latest in a string of gaps within local health provision.
“Only recently I have raised the dire need for a specialist unit for local mothers facing mental health problems after childbirth, rather than having to venture over the border to England.”
Siân Gwenllian says that issues with fertility are common, and that better support should be provided locally.
“Given that approximately one in four women face fertility issues, it is simply unacceptable that there is no dedicated IVF clinic in the north of Wales.
“The requirement for women to travel to England for treatment not only makes it financially unviable for many but also deprives them of receiving care in their native language.
“It is essential that we address the pressing need for accessible and adequate IVF services locally, ensuring that families facing fertility challenges can access the care they require free from the barriers that currently exist.”