Poland’s health minister unveils details of free fertility programme

Health Minister Bartosz Arlukowicz has clarified plans which will, for the first time, allow unmarried couples to receive fertility treatment at the expense of the Polish health service.

Mr Arlukowicz said the IVF programme would begin on July 1 next year, and would be confined to clinics that could guarantee the well-being of artificially created embryos. Couples, whether married or not, could be considered for the state-funded treatment if they had been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for a year or more, and the woman was under the age of 40.

The programme will run for three years, and will cost a total of 250 million złoty. Some 15,000 couples will benefit.

Announcing the government’s intention to introduce the programme, Prime Minister Donald Tusk, leader of Platforma Obywatelska (PO – Civic Platform), told journalists that IVF could be added to the list of treatments allowed to receive state funding, without a change in the law. But Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the opposition Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS – Law and Justice) said that any attempt to introduce state-funded IVF treatment for unmarried couples without a formal change in the law would be referred to the Constitutional Court.

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