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Beijing To Cover Several Fertility Treatments For Couples From July

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Beijing To Cover Several Fertility Treatments For Couples From July

Some private clinics have already begun permitting IVF due to falling births.

Hong Kong:

Beijing’s government on Thursday announced that it would cover 16 types of assisted reproduction technology under the city’s health care system from July 1, the latest move by authorities to boost China’s flagging birth rate.

In-vitro fertilisation, embryo transplantation, freezing and storing semen are some of the treatments that would be included under basic insurance, said Du Xin, deputy director of Beijing’s Municipal Medical Insurance Bureau.

The measure comes as China grapples to stem a decline in births after posting its first population drop in six decades. The number of newborns dropped to a record low of 6.77 per 1,000 people last year and is expected to decline further in 2023.

China’s National Health Commission last August issued guidance to provinces on reforming policies to support fertility rates.

Liaoning, a province in China’s northeast, said in May that it would include assisted reproduction technologies from July 1.

Beijing’s announcement also comes ahead of a court verdict for Teresa Xu, an unmarried 35-year old Chinese woman who sued a Beijing public hospital for violating her rights by refusing to freeze her eggs because she is unmarried.

Concerned about China’s rapid ageing, government political advisers proposed in March that single and unmarried women should have access to egg freezing and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, among other services.

It is difficult for unmarried women across the country to access fertility treatments such as IVF and egg freezing technologies due to a national rule that they must be married.

Some private clinics in provinces such as in the southwestern Sichuan province have already begun permitting IVF due to falling births.

Liberalising fertility treatments nationwide could unleash more demand in what is already the world’s biggest market, and strain limited fertility services, said investors and industry executives.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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