FOR Orange couple Ray and Lea Dally, creating their family came at a significant cost.
The couple spent up to $30,000 conceiving their first three children before naturally falling pregnant with their fourth child.
“Although we were able to claim a limited amount of costs as part of private health insurance it was still a lot of money,” Mr Dally said.
He said while the availability of bulk billing at a clinic in Sydney would make life easier for some parents-to-be, he did not believe IVF should be fully subsidised.
“But Lea and I do know of people who have just had to give up on having a child because they just simply couldn’t afford it,” he said.
“When you are spending that amount of money each time, around $5000, there comes a point where you just have to call it and say no and that’s what some people are doing.”
Mr Dally said it was not just the cost of the IVF cycles that piled up, but the accompanying medical expenses.
“The cost of pharmaceuticals, for example, can be expensive and then you have other expenses such as blood tests.
About 18 months ago Australia’s IVF levels were reported to be at a 30-year-low due to the high costs involved, with the number of women using IVF dropping by 13 per cent in 2012.
Mr Dally said after losing twins at six-weeks, and presented with the options for IVF, the couple did their homework.
“At the time we decided to go to Liverpool because it was about saving money,” he said.
Mrs Dally said their expenses also didn’t take into account travelling and accommodation expenses associated with trips to clinics in Sydney.
“It is good that we have a full service now offered in Orange,” she said.
Mrs Dally does not believe all IVF services should be bulk billed, but there should be some funding relief for couples.
“Even if the subsidy kicks in after they’ve tried a few rounds, I think that would work,” she said.
The IVF provider that operates out of Dudley Private Hospital was contacted for comment.