Melbourne based IVF Clinic is now uses a new digital subscription service which will help Chinese couples, they will be using a smart TV app to talk to Australian fertility experts.

Melbourne based fertility clinic Monash IVF has shared with the platform BabySmart so couples in China can have face-to-face consultations with Australian clinicians and experts.

The clinic began offering IVF services to Chinese couples in 2017 after signing an agreement with Melbourne-based AC International Medical Tourism, which targets the Chinese market. But the demand for IVF has reportedly highly increased in China since 2016 when the country phased out its one-child policy and began allowing married couples to have two children.

Monash IVF’s Dr Ken Leong said the idea behind the new platform was to connect Australian experts “to the largest healthcare market in the world”.

“Chinese consumers who are looking for services could log on and can book a time to connect with, not just doctors in Victoria but other healthcare professionals like genetic counsellors, physiotherapists, dieticians,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne’s Jon Faine.

Louise Johnson, chief executive of the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA), said there were no regulations covering couples from overseas seeking IVF treatment in Australia.

“Anybody can access the services of a clinic if they choose to travel, and many Australians access services overseas,” she said. “Similarly, on occasions, people from overseas come to Australia to access assistive reproductive services.”

She said the care of patients from overseas was subject to the same regulatory controls governing treatment of Australians.

Dr Leong said the Chinese health system focused on hospital treatment.

“Patients are unwell, they go to hospital, they get a number, they queue up and there’s millions of them doing that,” he said.

“Patients wait a long time and then by the time they get to the end of the queue and see a doctor the interaction is often very short.”

He said wealthy and middle-class Chinese patients often travelled abroad for treatment.

“It’s a current trend, it’s already happening.

“They’re going to the US, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and surrounding areas like Thailand.

He said he believed health care would eventually become one of Australia’s biggest exports.

While admitting the digital subscription platform was “not suited to all aspects of medicine”, Dr Leong said couples with fertility problems would benefit from an online face-to-face consultation.

“In the fertility arena there’s lots of questions, in fact very basic questions that would come up.”

He said the platform gave clinicians the ability to have a “good chat” with patients to ascertain whether or not they required IVF treatment.

 

News Resource – March 28, 2018, abc.net.au

Image resource – fertile.com