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Australia has probably the second-most generous funding scheme in the world said Dr Adam Elshaug, because taxpayer funding for infertility treatment has more than tripled since 2000, prompting a study to gauge community support for IVF from the public purse. In 2000, the federal Liberal government lifted barriers on Medicare-funded IVF, and it allowed allowing couples who were struggling with infertility unlimited treatment cycles. Consequently over the next 8 years, spending on assisted reproductive services by government rose from $66 million to $210 million, which means it more than tripled.

Public health researchers at the University of Adelaide have won funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council to explore community attitudes to health spending. This public health research needs 16 people who used IVF between 2000 and 2007, and another 16 to take part in forums next month.

One of the researchers said that couples were limited to 6 cycles of treatment before the Medicare restrictions were lifted. According to the information given, I agree with Dr Adam Elshaug that Australia probably has the most generous funding scheme in the world. In 2005 there was an attempt of stopping open ended subsidising of IVF by health minister Tony Abbott but the idea dropped in the face of opposition from critics. Dr Adam Elshaug says international debates had ranged from considering IVF's effect on the national fertility rate and economy to the importance of meeting basic human needs. "Debate exists as to whether some needs for IVF are worthier than others and whether IVF always represents an appropriate use of medical and public resources.

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