Mainland clients seeking IVF services in Taiwan probably to halve after suspension of individual trips

By Xu Keyue Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/9 23:23:40

Market revival depends on 2020 election result: industry employees


Advances in preimplantation genetic screening in China, where the world's first test-tube baby was born using this technique in 2012, are giving infertile couples greater IVF possibilities closer to home. Photo: CFP

Taiwan's in vitro fertilization (IVF) industry, popular with some mainland patients seeking children, has been hit by suspension of visits for mainland individual trips to the island starting August 1.

A staff member at Taipei Medical University Hospital told the Global Times on Monday that she had noticed an apparent decline in mainland patients since the suspension.

Mainland residents must now spend up to about one month applying for a medical visa to Taiwan whereas previously they could use a three-to-five day exit-entry permit for IVF treatment in Taiwan.

The change hit Taiwan IVF providers with mainland clients, especially smaller hospitals and clinics that specialize in IVF treatment but cannot help mainland clients with a medical visa, a staff member told the Global Times reporter who pretended to be a potential client.

To obtain a medical visa, patients must provide materials including certificate of spouse relationship: a more complicated procedure than an exit and entry permit, according to a second staff member at Lee Women's Hospital in Taichung.

Meanwhile on the mainland, an employee of an IVF service agent based in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, told the Global Times that some clients have decided to go to other countries such as Thailand where they could receive similar treatment at a similar price but with a simpler procedure.

Many mainland spouses who have difficulty in conceiving reportedly chose Taiwan for IVF therapy especially after the mainland's second-child policy was fully implemented in October 2015.

IVF industry staff employed in both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland estimated that the suspension would probably halve mainland clients seeking IVF services in Taiwan in the short term.

How much mainland business for the Taiwan IVF industry was allowed to recover by Beijing would likely depend on the results of the 2020 Taiwan election, they predicted.
Newspaper headline: Visit ban hurts Taiwan IVF market


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