What we really need is a watchdog, a regulatory body for IVF industry: Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj

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What we really need is a watchdog, a regulatory body for IVF industry: Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj Shahid Akhter, editor, ETHealthworld spoke to Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj, Consultant, Nurture, New Delhi to understand the growth and challenges in the Indian IVF industry. Edited excerpts:

IVF – Market trends
IVF market worldwide is expanding by leaps and bounds. Incidence of infertility seems to be rising with the global trends of getting married late, people preferring to settle themselves in life and then start having a baby, then the affect of pollution, stress and lifestyle. So everything on the whole seems to be catapulting the instance of infertility parse, both in India and in the outside world, so the demand for an infertility based practise seems to be rising dramatically. Since we are one of the most populated countries in the world so obviously our requirement for the service parse will be higher.

India has a fair number of IVF clinics but if we were to look at a clinic per population basis, we still have a huge demand and while most of the world already has adequate IVF facilities we seem to be lacking behind and this is where a lot of foreign investors and foreign players seem to be coming in. Overall the trend of the market is a growing trend and we see a lot of people coming in from different parts of the world for investing in the Indian IVF market now.

IVF- Regulations and guidelines
In most of the countries there are very strict regulations for IVF. If one was to look at the European, Australian, Britain and American market, each country has its own regulatory body which is the watchdog for ART related procedures. Unfortunately we do not have laws in our country up until this point, we do have some guidelines which to follow is for the clinician and the ART practitioner. Most of us try and stick to the guidelines as far as possible but what we are still seriously lacking are laws and strict regulations to look after, control or organise the ART practise in India.

IVF challenges
For an ART practitioner in India starting from being able to make people understand the domain of ART the kind of services it would be providing, who are the set of people who actually need to look at it, removing the mindset of not seeking IVF treatment, getting the family involved in the fertility treatment. The challenges are many but to begin with we do not have enough ART centres. We need more doctors who are trained well enough to carry out the complete IVF practise. Need to look at surrogacy in the larger picture of things…

For me as an ART practitioner and a female who is dealing with infertile couples, it is very hard to understand the need for a ban like this. We all understand and accept that whenever you practice, there will be good and malpractices. So what we really need is a watchdog, a regulatory body…

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