Punjab Health Minister Takes Steps to Address Rising Infertility, Proposes ART Centres at Medical Colleges
Chandigarh, September 28, 2023:
Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Balbir Singh on Thursday ordered an in-depth study and survey to find out the possible causes behind the increasing infertility among couples, while also proposing to establish Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Centres at Government Medical Colleges in the state.
The Health Minister was chairing the first meeting of the state-level board constituted in connection with the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act, 2021 and the Surrogacy (regulation) Act, 2021 at Punjab Bhawan here.
He said that the proposed ART centres at Medical Colleges will facilitate the couples to address their infertility with medical procedures including in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy.
The Health Minister informed that the Punjab state is among the frontrunner states, which have already implemented both the acts— ART and Surrogacy Act, which seek to curb unethical practices related to issues including sex selection and exploitation of surrogates.
“With the implementation of these Acts, all the fertility and surrogacy clinics in the state are now required to obtain registration to carry out ART or Surrogacy procedures to infertile couples,” he said.
Pertinently, the state appropriate authority has already granted registrations to the 106 institutions including 11 ART Clinics (Level 1), 53 ART Clinics (Level 2), 26 ART Banks and 16 Surrogacy Clinics.
Dr. Balbir Singh said that the key objective of implementing these acts was the prevention of commercialisation of ART Clinics and surrogacy, besides, curbing the unethical practices. He informed that there is also a provision for rigorous punishment in case of contravention of the provisions of the Acts.
This is a significant development for infertility treatment in Punjab, as it will make it easier and more affordable for couples to seek help. The proposed study on the causes of infertility will also help to raise awareness of the issue and promote early intervention.
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