Australia

IVF access made easier under Vic reforms

The Victorian government has promised to consider opening a public egg and sperm bank. (AAP)

Victorians who want to start a family will soon be able to access publicly funded IVF in the state.

It cost thousands of dollars for Melbourne woman Rachael McConaghie to become a mum and she wants the emotional journey to starting a family to be easier for others.

She welcomed the Victorian government's promise to publicly fund fertility treatments like IVF, as well as considering opening a public egg and sperm bank.

"It's got to be accessible to as many people as possible," Ms McConaghie said on Wednesday.

"Just because you have trouble with fertility it shouldn't mean lots (taken out of) your bank."

Thanks to fertility treatments Ms McConaghie is the proud mum of three-and-a-half year old Alec and 17-month-old Alara.

But the amount of regulation and financial burden imposed on would-be parents was a challenge, she said.

"You're trying to concentrate on making a baby and there's lots of hoops you have to jump through."

A report released on Wednesday into the state's assisted reproductive treatment system recommended 80 changes to create better fertility access for Victorians.

Among the raft of changes the state government accepted include bulk-billing treatments, recognising female couples as a family and allowing people to use one donor so children could be biological siblings.

"We're removing unfair hurdles faced by too many families and making IVF easier and more affordable to access," Victoria's Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said.

The government would also review the requirement for prospective parents to undergo police and child protection checks, which can delay treatments.

It was not considered under the current report but many people raised the issue during consultation, Ms Mikakos said.

Changing the regulations around importing eggs and sperm from overseas to help deal with the shortage in Australia was also being considered.

"We have a lot of room for improvement, including cost because our IVF sector is largely private," report author Michael Gorton said.

He found patient-focused care needed to be improved with many women left feeling as though they were on "a production line".

It was also important for the regulatory burden to be eased and ensure patients were given accurate information about costs and success rates for treatment.

Despite having to jump through regulatory and financial hoops to start a family, Ms McConaghie wouldn't have it any other way.

"It's a fairly emotional journey but it's obviously really rewarding. Anything we can do to cut some red tape or make it easier... is a good thing," she said.

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