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June 2010 Issue
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Public opinion sought on IVF funding

 Health Sciences

The University of Adelaide is recruiting people for a research project to explore their views on government funding for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) services.

Researchers from the University's Discipline of Public Health are looking for two separate groups to take part in a couple of forums this month discussing public funding for IVF.

A total of 16 people who have undertaken IVF between 2000 and 2007 are required for one session on Saturday 19 June, and another 16 members of the general public are needed for a forum on Saturday 26 June.

"It is important that the community has a voice in deciding how government funds are spent on healthcare," said Chief Investigator Professor Janet Hiller.

"Historically, the community has had very little chance to be involved in deciding what services should be funded and why. The aim of this project is to establish the best ways to incorporate patient and community views in developing health policy," Professor Hiller said.

IVF is being used as a test case for public opinion, but the research project is looking at a wide range of health services that are publicly funded.

"We are using IVF as a case study because there has been a lot of controversy surrounding public funding for this service in the past. Decision makers both in Australia and overseas continue to grapple with the appropriate level of subsidy for IVF."

Government expenditure on assisted reproductive services increased from approximately $66 million in 2000 to about $210 million in 2008, Professor Hiller said.

"Government decisions about healthcare funding can have a significant impact on the community. For every service that is funded, another must miss out and so it is important that the community has a say in this process."

Forum participants will be provided with a range of information about IVF and invited to share their views on how this should influence public funding.

People interested in taking part must live in South Australia (city or rural), be 18 years or older, of either sex, not currently pregnant, nor undertaking IVF at present. Participants will also receive financial compensation for their time.

For more information contact 8313 0938 or 0435 821 147 or email:

Story by Candy Gibson

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