HFEA welcomes Government announcement on extra funding

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority today welcomed an announcement by Government that it will receive significant extra funding. Details of the funding package were outlined in the Government's response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report, Developments in Human Genetics and Reproduction. The report was critical of some HFEA functions but acknowledged that the HFEA was under-funded. Earlier this year, the HFEA had informed clinics that it would require a significant increase in licence fees to support its licensing and inspection functions.    

The funding package, which will increase the HFEA's annual funding to £5.5 million, is to enable the Authority to strengthen further its regulatory process and improve communication with clinics, patients and the wider public.

The funding consists of:

  • Additional Government Funding of over £1m in this financial year 
  • An increase in Government funding for the next financial year to £1.5m - a 150% increase on it the current amount
  • Approval of the HFEA's proposals to increase its licence fee income in 2003/04 to £4m. Government has required the HFEA to defer this increase from January 2003 to April 2003 and will bear the cost to the HFEA of this postponement

In addition to the £1.5m that Government provided in this financial year to enable the HFEA to upgrade its database register, it will provide the necessary funding over the next three years to complete the task.

Suzi Leather, HFEA chair said:

'This funding increase is particularly welcome because it signals Government's commitment to maintaining Britain's position as a world leader in infertility treatment and embryo research. Public confidence in infertility services is high because clinics are inspected by the HFEA and problems are thoroughly investigated.'

'Throughout the last decade, services have expanded enormously and expectations of regulation have increased.   The increased funding will allow the HFEA to make significant improvements in the way that it operates. It will enable us to introduce an even more robust regulatory system and to be more open about the work that we do.'


Notes for editors

The HFEA is funded by the UK health departments and by fees raised from the clinics the HFEA licenses. The contribution from licence fees covers the costs of regulation. Currently clinics pay £40 per IVF cycle and £20 per donor insemination cycle.  From April 2003, these fees will increase to £100 and £50 respectively.

For furthur information please contact the HFEA press office.

Page last updated: 12 March 2009

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