July
22
 

Israel leads the world in IVF

The Assuta Hospital in Tel Aviv is one of the busiest IVF clinics in the world, with 7,000 cycles each year. Unlike countries where couples go broke trying to conceive with assisted reproductive technology, Israel provides free, unlimited IVF procedures for up to two “take-home babies” until a woman is 45. The policy has made Israelis the highest per capita users of the procedure in the world. While IVF is one of the country’s largest public health expenditures, it has attracted little debate or criticism. IVF seems to be one of the few issues that fractious Israelis seem to agree on.

Israelis already have a high fertility rate: an average of 2.9 children per family. A survey published in 2002 by the journal Human Reproduction Update showed that 1,657 IVF procedures per million people per year were performed in Israel, compared with 899 in Iceland, the country with the second highest rate, and 126 in the US, which came in far behind European countries. Experts say Israel’s rate still outstrips the rest of the world by far. IVF produces 4% of Israeli children today, compared with 1% in the US. Assuta performs about a quarter of Israel’s approximately 28,000 IVF procedures per year. ~ New York Times, Jul 17



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