A February 2013 Choice report on the costs of IVF, has stated that Westmead Fertility Centre’s IVF cycle costs were significantly lower than other major Australian fertility centres.
The report by the independent ‘people’s watchdog’, claimed there were significant price differences between clinics: “In Sydney, for example, the out-of-pocket costs after Medicare benefits and safety nets for three IVF cycles can range from $1870 at the private Westmead Fertility Centre (aligned to a major public hospital – operating surplus goes back into the business) to almost $9000 at major private clinics Genea (owned by its shareholders, including current and former doctors) and IVF Australia, which belongs to the largest network of clinics in Australia and is partly owned by private equity company Quadrant.”
Westmead Fertility Centre (WFC) Director, Dr Howard Smith said that the centre kept their charges to a minimum so that as many people as possible could afford their services.
“In addition, we do not need to maximise profits for a group of investors. This means that we are in the unique position of being able to offer lower costs of treatment without compromising on the professional standard and availability of treatment. Any profits we make are invested back into our own facility’s research and equipment so it is our patients who benefit.”
The article also said that while ‘some larger, more expensive clinics told Choice they have better success rates than less expensive ones’, industry experts and other clinics disputed this claim.
Choice reported that success rates can vary widely between clinics of all sizes and prices levels.
“The wide variation is likely caused by individual centre averages being drawn from different patient groups and sometimes very small numbers. Some clinics don’t accept all patients, and so other clinics may see a higher proportion of patients with difficult fertility problems.”
Dr Smith, agreed with Choice’s conclusion that the only success rate that matters is the one for people in their own particular circumstances.
‘Not only are there many individual factors that need to be taken into account, such as the woman’s age and medical history, many things can affect the fertilisation of an egg. At WFC, we customise your treatment plan to give you the best possible chance of becoming pregnant.”