Jackie Coade expresses he concern about the fertility re-start progamm after is was halted due to Covid-19.
Newry and Armagh Alliance representative Jackie Coade has expressed concerns over the confusion of when fertility treatment is to restart.
After being approached by couples in the Newry and Armagh area, Ms Coace said there is an urgent need to get fertility treatment back up and running as soon as possible.
Speaking on the issue, she said: “It is important that we develop a coherent strategy moving forward to ensure that fertility treatment restarts soon as many couples within Newry and Armagh are left in limbo.
” I completely understand why clinics were temporarily closed amidst the Covid-19 epidemic, however, with restrictions gradually lifting it is important that we consider restarting treatment even in a phased basis.”
The Belfast Hospital HSC Trust said that resuming fertility treatment following Covid-19 was a priority. The Trust said services at the Regional Fertility Centre in Belfast would resume in the coming weeks, but at a reduced level. There will be extended opening hours so that as many patients as possible can be seen safely. Fertility clinics in the rest of the UK were given the go ahead to open again from 11 May.
Ms Coade added: “Fertility treatment is a very emotive and time sensitive issue. We must respect the fact that many couples in Newry and Armagh are currently waiting to restart their treatment.
“It is an incredible moment when you become a parent and can be very stressful trying for a baby. It is important that we give these couples a piece of mind and get back to treatment even in a phased basis.
“We are already reopening pubs, restaurants and shopping centres why can we not do the same, safely at clinics? These couples have already said they feel abandoned by the Trust and we need to restore confidence as soon as possible.
“Furthermore, Paula Bradshaw MLA, Alliance Party Health Spokesperson, said: ‘I have been contacted by many people, expressing their deep concerns that their treatment was halted in March and now they have no idea when it will resume.’ “
Jackie Coade added: “This lack of information is causing untold anxiety and fear that it will too late to start a family if the Regional Fertility Centre is not fully-operational in the very near future.”