Ireland: Rise in IVF tourists as couples travel for treatment
Irish couples are saving almost €3,000 – including travel and accommodation costs – by travelling to Poland, Cyprus and the Czech Republic for fertility treatments.
A course of IVF treatment costs about €4,500 in Ireland but abroad the price can be half that.
Support groups for couples dealing with infertility have told the Irish Daily Mail that inquiries from women who intend to travel abroad have increased dramatically.
According to the health website whatclinic.com, enquiries to clinics in Cyprus have increased fivefold, while they went up fourfold for Poland and enquiries to Greece doubled.
Spain and the Czech Republic have witnessed a 88% and 78% rise.
Four fertility clinics in the Czech Republic confirmed to the Mail that they have been receiving Irish patients seeking treatment. In the Czech Republic the price is as low as €1,086, which means couples could save a total of €2,814 – with the cost of flights and a week’s stay at around €600. In Greece IVF costs €2,950, while in Spain the average price stands at €3,840.
Helen Browne, co-founder and chairwoman of the National Infertility Support and Information Group, said it’s impossible to estimate the numbers of Irish women availing of lower prices abroad but she said those who seek information from organisations such as her own are only the tip of the iceberg as many do all their research individually online.
But those who have gone abroad report positive experiences. According to Ms Browne: ‘The Czech Republic is very popular. Couples find them very friendly, they have an interpreter and their English is good.’
However, she said women would be better undergoing the treatment at home where doctors could better monitor their cycle.