Publicly Funded IVF – Information from the HSE

Information on the Publicly Funded IVF Scheme 


Stephen Donnelly, the Minister for Health, has released information regarding funding for assisted human reproduction (AHR) in Ireland. The scheme is set to begin in September 2023.

The Minister announced the eligibility criteria for patients to access one complete cycle of IVF or ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) treatment, funded by the HSE. This service will initially be provided by approved private providers on behalf of the HSE, while the HSE builds to deliver the service directly within the public health system.


How Do Patients Qualify for the Scheme?

Individuals who are experiencing fertility issues must have an initial consultation with their GP who can perform initial tests. The GP can then refer the couple to their local Regional Fertility Hub if appropriate (the hubs do not accept self-referrals). The fertility hubs offer services including blood tests, semen analysis, fertility-related surgeries, and treatment such as ovulation induction with follicle tracking. There are six fertility hubs nationwide, based in the maternity hospital networks.

From September, the Hubs will be able to refer patients who meet the access criteria to the private clinic of their choosing for treatment. The treatment will be publicly funded and provided free of charge if the patients are eligible. Female patients must be under 41 years of age and meet the necessary criteria. Male patients must be under 60 years of age and meet the necessary criteria. The treatment will be provided at the HSE-approved private clinic of the patient’s choice.


What are the Criteria to access HSE-funded fertility treatment (IUI, IVF, ICSI treatment) in Ireland?

The Department of Health has indicated the following  access criteria:

  • You must be residents of the Republic of Ireland
  • You must be referred to a Regional Fertility Hub by your GP for tests or treatment
  • At the time of referral, you must be aged 18 to 41 if you are a woman or aged 18 to 60 if you are a man
  • The intending mother must have a BMI of between 18.5 and 30
  • You must be in a relationship with your partner for at least 1 year
  • You must have no children with your current partner, including any children you are a legal guardian to. At least one partner must not have any living child. If only one of you has a child from a previous relationship, you can still be considered for treatment.
  • You may be considered for treatment if you have had no more than 1 complete round of IVF previously and have no unused embryos in storage.
  • You must never have had a sterilisation procedure to prevent pregnancy (including a vasectomy or blocking/sealing your fallopian tubes)
  • You cannot have treatment if more than 2 people plan to be parents to the child.


Are sperm donation or egg donation treatments covered under the publicly funded IVF scheme in Ireland?

Treatment is not yet available to you if you cannot use your own eggs or sperm, if you are in a same-sex couple, or if you are single. The Department of Health plans to make donor-assisted human reproduction available when required regulation is in place.


What if I am Not Eligible?

Treatment for patients who are not eligible for HSE-funded treatment, or who require donor gametes, is still available privately to patients. Tax relief will continue to be available on the costs involved as part of the tax relief on medical expenses scheme. The Drugs Payment Scheme will continue to cover drugs used as part of fertility treatment.


When Will The Funding Be Available?

The Department of Health is committed to rolling out the scheme from September 2023.