Monday, 11 February 2013

Crackdown on illegal fertility clinics

A new campaign will crack down on facilities offering illegal assisted reproductive technology services, which put both babies and mothers at risk.
Unauthorized use of the services, surrogate motherhood and the illegal collection and supply of sperm and eggs, as well as the illegal sale and abuse of ovulation induction medicine, will be targeted, the Ministry of Health said.
By the end of last year, there were 358 medical facilities on China's mainland licensed to carry out such services and operate sperm banks.
In Shanghai, there are eight such facilities, including a sperm bank at Renji Hospital.
All the approved facilities face re-evaluation and registration, while the ministry won't approve new applications during the year-long campaign. Any problems found must be rectified, or approval for the services would be rescinded, the ministry said.
The campaign will include a crackdown on the illegal collection and use of human eggs and sperm and the illegal sale of embryos and ovulation drugs. A hotline, 010-82647810, and e-mail account,, have been set up for tips from the public. Checks on facilities will result in a blacklist of any offering illegal services, officials said.
The ministry said China's infertility rate was now between 7 and 10 percent, but some 70 to 80 percent of infertile women could conceive after changing their lifestyle and receiving proper medical treatment.
The technology can help about 20 percent of infertile couples to conceive, officials said. In 2011, around 350,000 people received the services and more than 60,000 previously infertile couples had given birth.
Song Guofan of the Shanghai Health Bureau, said the services are strictly supervised in the city and there had been no cases of illegal use.
Source: Shanghai Daily

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