Lift of fertility treatment cap serves as a fresh hope for childless couples in the UAE

May 19, 2017
4 minutes read
Lift of fertility treatment cap serves as a fresh hope for  childless couples in the UAE

A big decision on fertility treatments for Thiqa policy holders has come as a huge relief for couples unable to conceive naturally.Changes inAbu Dhabi  health schemes have facilitated the removal of a cap on infertility treatments set last year. The cap was announced in June 2016, effective from 1st July 2016 limiting in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) at private centres forThiqa insurance holders in Abu Dhabi from three cycles to one cycle and that too with a 20% co-payment.

“The inability to conceive is a medical disorder affecting several couples in the region today and the number is only increasing. For a few couples, paying for such treatments is not an issue, but a large number rely on the Thiqa policy and Government support for IVF treatments. With this favourable decision, infertility treatments will now be accessible by a lot of them, this is a great step by the Government,” saidProf. Dr. Human Fatemi,Subspecialist Reproductive Medicine & Reproductive Surgery, Medical Director, IVI Middle East Fertility Clinic,

With the region having some of the highest levels of Vitamin D deficiency, Obesity and Consanguineous familyhistory in the world – the three key factors for infertility – it is noted that one in six couples in the UAE face fertility issues.

“IVF treatment is an expensive and emotional path. Even though IVI has a success rate of over 70%, mostcouples undergoing IVF do get to a stage of a second IVF cycle. Lifting the cap will not only facilitate greater accessibility to the treatment, but will also allow us to help several patients for whom IVF would have not been an option but an aspiration only,” added Dr. Human Fatemi.


There are many causes of infertility, and fertility problems can affect both men and women. Common causes of infertility in women include lack of regular ovulation – the monthly release of an egg, blockage of the fallopian tubes, age and endometriosis. In men, the most common cause is poor quality semen.

There are millions of people who are struggling with infertility. Over the long term, this can be a difficult burden to deal with.The government’s decision to lift the cap is certainly a ray of hope for many couples.

“This is certainly good news. We’d been associated with IVI Middle East Fertility Clinic for our treatment since the past few weeks and wanted to start but the cost was a concern. However, the recent news on the lift is like a miracle. We can now seek the best treatment, from the best clinic in the UAE,”said an anonymous patient at IVI Middle East Fertility Clinic                         .

A study had shown the IVF market in the UAE is set to grow by 11.8 per cent this year, compared with last year. Last year, an estimated 5,000 IVF cycles were performed in the Emirate.The value of the GCC’s healthcare market has grown steadily in recent years and there is little sign that any slowdown is on the horizon.


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