Infertile Couples are new farmers committing suicide
New Delhi: Childless couples are new ‘farmers’ in distress in India.
In pursuit of bundles of joy through IVF, artificial birthing technique, they are falling in the debt trap and taking the extreme step of suicide. Test Tube baby (IVF) specialists are advocating inclusion of IVF in insurance net to stem the deathly trend.
According to National Crime Records Bureau, as many as 448 people committed suicides blaming infertility or impotence in 2015. Sources there said infertility related suicides have increased every passing year. IVF experts fear that debt burden due to IVF might have driven many among them to take the extreme step.
IVF specialists acquiesced in the sober fact that sterility is pushing childless couples to debt trap and many of them are ending up committing suicides. As infertility is increasing unabated, suicides due to it would also rise. They said farming and bearing babies being same in nature, the government needs to expand its insurance net to include childless couples too. One of them said, ‘As manure and irrigation is a must for the crop, so is IVF for birthing for infertile couples.
Dr. Archana Dhawan Bajaj, Nuture IVF clinic, says, ‘as infertility distress is increasing unabated in the country, some financial help to infertile couples has become a must, so that they can afford artificial ways like IVF (test tube baby technique), more so if IVF is pushing them into debt trap. Lest IVF or other birthing expense become a trigger for suicides, the government should quickly move forward to protect them from taking extreme step’.
One the few most decorated IVF specialists in India, Dr (Mrs) Bajaj further said, ‘Inclusion of IVF in insurance can come handy to a great extent. In UK and USA, IVF is included in insurance cover. The government can help childless couples in so many different ways; it can create some kind of insurance cover for them; can establish centres of excellence for IVF in public sector which are non- existent as of now; can make PPP arrangement or fund such couples on EMI basis.’
Dr. Bajaj bemoaned the fact that there is not a single centre of excellence for IVF in public sector. ‘We also get patients from those few big government hospitals because either IVF is in shambles there or there are long queues’, she added.
Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, a globally renowned IVF specialist, Lilavati hospital in Mumbai and Bloom Fertility Centre in Faridabad, is a strong advocate of IVF being included in Insurance. Talking to Medicare News on phone from Mumbai, Dr Pai said, ‘Inclusion of IVF in insurance net must be mooted urgently. In fact, it is a profitable proposition for insurance companies. They should float insurance products which can only be taken at the time of marriage. About 90 percent couples would have babies naturally but, if 10 percent of them fail to get children even after 3-4 years, insurance companies can easily bear their IVF costs.
Dr. Nayana Patel, IVF expert at Anand in Gujarat, earning the nickname ‘Queen of Surrogacy’ talked to Medicare News on the issue from Anand on phone. Dr (Mrs) Patel said, ‘Infertility is on the upswing in India across all sections due to various reasons and more and more couples find no other option than IVF. It is the bounden duty of the government to come to the rescue of those couples who cannot afford IVF. Insurance cover has become a necessity for IVF. I know how desperate are people, rich or poor, to get the bundles of joy.’
Dr. Deepa Ganesh, Cosmetic Gynaecologist, Chennai, said talking to Medicare News said, ‘There is a disturbing trend in IVF. It is becoming first line of procedure of birthing, thanks to over commercialization of the valuable process.’ The pioneer in aesthetic Gynecology, Dr (Mrs) Ganesh further said, ‘Couples should at least wait for one or two year before going for IVF. A simple tablet or procedure can make a woman to conceive naturally but many of desperate couples take IVF at the earliest. Naturally, IVF experts make a killing. Both are at fault. Insurance net must include IVF but they should cover only when IVF is a last resort.’