Here is another example of why government run healthcare is not in YOUR best interest. This is an abstract for a presentation made at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) conference that was held in Amsterdam last week. ESHRE is THE authority for reproductive medicine in Europe. This is a small study but it is reflective of the big picture. Now some might argue that reproductive medicine is not the same as regular healthcare but in fact it is. Read the below and you will see that even though people have socialized medicine in these countries, they leave in droves to get better care OR to receive care at all due to rationing and restrictions place on them. Some of the restrictions include age (hear that old farts), use of donor tissue, and sexual orientation. This is what obongo wants to give you. This is what happens in other countries that the supporters of nationalized healthcare point to as examples. Sounds great to me…”hey you, out of line your are too old for treatment…”, “sorry but you have had you limit in treatments let someone else have a turn”…
Sorry I like my healthcare just the way it is. The government and insurance companies have NO BUSINESS in making decisions about YOUR healthcare
Amsterdam, The Netherlands: A substantial number of European patients travel to other countries for fertility treatment, both because they think that they will receive better quality care abroad and in order to undergo procedures that are banned in their home country says a study of the subject launched at the 25th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Monday June 29). Study coordinator Dr. Françoise Shenfield, from UniversityCollegeHospital, London, UK, said that this was the first hard evidence of considerable fertility patient migration within Europe. “Until now we have only had anecdotal evidence of this phenomenon,” she said. “We think that our results will be of considerable value to patients, doctors, and policymakers.”
During a one-month period, the ESHRE Task Force analyzed data from participating clinics in six European countries: Belgium, the CzechRepublic, Denmark, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland. Clinics were asked to provide questionnaires to patients coming from abroad for treatment. The questionnaires asked about their age, country of residence, reasons for traveling to another country for treatment, which treatment they had received, whether they had received information in their own language, how they had chosen the centre they were attending, and whether they had received reimbursement from their home country’s health system. A total of 1230 forms were completed and returned.
“This may not seem to be a very high number,” said Dr. Shenfield, “but it reflects only one month of events in a limited number of centers in six countries. The total number of treatment cycles per year can be estimated by extrapolating our monthly data to a year and by assuming that the centers represent no more than half of the centers in each of the countries studied. This leads to an estimate of at least 20 000 to 25 000 cross-border treatment cycles per year in these countries. It is, however, difficult to derive a number of patients from these numbers as patients receive more than one cycle to obtain a pregnancy, the mean number depending on the type of treatment.”
Almost two-thirds of the patients surveyed came from four countries, with the largest number coming from Italy (31.8%), followed by Germany (14.4%), the Netherlands (12.1%) and France (8.7%). In total, people from 49 countries crossed borders for fertility treatment.
The main reason for going abroad for fertility was to avoid legal restrictions at home; 80.6% of the German patients surveyed have this as their primary reason, 71.6% of Norwegians, 70.6% of Italians, and 64.5% of French. Difficulties of access to treatment were cited more by patients from the UK (34.0%) than those from other countries.
Age also played an important part in the decision to travel for treatment. The average age across all countries was over 37.5, but German and UK patients tended to have a much higher age profile with 51.1% of Germans being aged over 40 and 63.5% of British. Civil status also varied between countries; overall 69.9% of all women were married and only 6.1% single. But 82% of Italian women were married, while 50% of French women were cohabiting (often in same sex couples), and 43.4% of Swedish women were single.
The majority of respondents (73%) were seeking assisted reproduction treatment (ART) only, as opposed to 22.2% intrauterine insemination (IUI), and 4.9% both ART and IUI. These figures also varied between one country and another; there was a majority of IUI treatments for French (53.3%) and Swedish (62.3%) patients, with a majority of ART for most other countries.
Fertility treatment abroad is poorly reimbursed, says Dr. Shenfield. “Only 13.4% of the patients we surveyed received partial reimbursement, and as few as 3.8% were reimbursed totally for their treatment.”
The most generous country was The Netherlands, with a partial or total reimbursement of 44.4% and 22.1% of patients. In France, patients could only be reimbursed for overseas treatment where there was a delay at home, and treatment that was illegal at home, for example for single women or homosexual couples, was not reimbursed at all.