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Test-tube babies profitable business for the state
Date:12/1/2008

Increased financial support for IVF fertilization would be downright profitable for the state. Test-tube babies are an investment for the future, not an expense. This is shown by Anders Svensson, who studied this issue in a bachelor's thesis in economics at Lund University School of Economics and Management in Sweden. His article on the subject was recently published in Scandinavian Journal of Public Health (SJPH).

In many countries in Europe, too few children are being born for the population to replace itself. In the future this can entail major problems when it comes to financing health care and pensions, for example. In Greece, Italy, and Spain roughly 1.3 children are born per woman, and in Sweden the figure is 1.88. At the same time, in Sweden, for instance, some 10󈞀 percent of all couples are unable to have children for various reasons, even though they wish to.

"Subsidized in vitro fertilization is not a total solution for aging populations, but it is part of a strategy. And it's important to have plan to make Sweden and other countries better able to deal with the future," says Anders Svensson, today a medical student, who is the lead author of the article and who was prompted by a suggestion from the American think tank Rand to look at state-subsidized IVF treatment.

The author of the article points out that there are great regional differences in Sweden today when it comes to how easy it is to get access to county-subsidized in vitro fertilization. Certain county councils will not pay if the couple already has children; some pay for two attempts only, and others for three attempts.

"Actually roughly half of all test-tube fertilizations are paid for out of pocket, which means that only those who can afford it can undergo IVF treatment."

In the longer term the state benefits from subsidizing the costs of test-tube children for couples that are involuntarily childless.

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Contact: Kristina Rorstrom
Kristina.Rorstrom@ehl.lu.se
Swedish Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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