Thailand has become a top tourist destination for women seeking gender-selective IVF. The country is one of just three that permit gender selection – the other two are the US and South Africa – and it offers the most affordable procedures.
Hundreds of women from China and Hong Kong travel to Thailand each year, and that number is set to increase. Alfred Siu Wing-fung - just one of a number of Hong Kong health tourism agents - sells ‘gender selection IVF packages’ to about 200 Chinese couples a year.
Siu estimates about 10,000 gender selection cycles were carried out in Bangkok last year, at an average cost of $15,000 per treatment.
While medical equipment and drugs are imported, clinics are staffed mostly by Thai doctors and nurses trained overseas.
Around a dozen clinics in Bangkok offer the procedure.
The Medical Council of Thailand is campaigning to have the practice banned. However, in light of recent political instability, the legislative change remains low on the government’s list of priorities.
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