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Saturday Magazine

18 Jun 2023

Saturday 17th June 2023, Tyson Smith, surrogacy Medicare rebates for LGBTIQA+ families

Current Affairs, Health, Interview, Joy, Joy 94.9, Joy Media, Joy Media, Media, News & Politics, Podcast, Saturday Magazine, Society & Culture

Saturday 17th June 2023, Tyson Smith, surrogacy Medicare rebates for LGBTIQA+ families

Nevena and Macca are joined live on-air by Tyson Smith, surrogacy Medicare rebates for LGBTIQA+ families

GAY INTENDED DADS WELCOME SUPPORT FOR SURROGACY MEDICARE REBATESThe couple at the centre of a call for IVF-related expenses to be rebated by Medicare have welcomed a supportive recommendation from a recent Senate inquiry.

The Senate inquiry into Universal Access to Reproductive Healthcare has last week recommended that the current Medicare exclusion of IVF services related to surrogacy be removed, in line with recommendations from the 2020 Medical Benefits Review Taskforce (Senate inquiry recommendations 33, 30 and 32).Alex, who, together with partner, Tom, have spoken publicly about the need for equality for intended parents, regardless of gender or couple type, to be able to access Medicare and PBS rebates for IVF related expenses, said,

“We welcome the Senate inquiry’s recommendations and thank everyone who made submissions calling for reform. This is an important first step towards us fulfilling our dream of having a family. However, more change is required to ensure the application of Government rebates are distributed equally and fairly. We will now begin the process of lobbying politicians to see the Senate’s recommendation become a reality.”Stephen Page, a legal expert in surrogacy related matters, said the Medicare exclusion is an “an archaic anomaly” from the time when surrogacy was illegal. “The states have all recognised altruistic surrogacy arrangements, but the Commonwealth is still to catch up by treating these couples fairly.”Sam Everingham from Growing Families also welcomed the Senate recommendations.“Half of those affected by the lack of rebate are heterosexual, and will be very pleased with the recommendations of this report. Australia’s failure, for over a decade, to treat equitably those unable to carry a child has sent the unintended message that the Government would rather intended parents engage in surrogacy-related IVF offshore.”The Senate inquiry noted that there continues to be barriers facing those requiring surrogacy (including LGBTIQA+ people) when accessing reproductive health services. Paragraph 4.97 states “the committee recognises that current practices and standards in the healthcare industry can be un-affirming and exclusionary for LGBTIQA+ people.”Labor and Green Senators all supported the removal of the current surrogacy exclusion with the Greens also supporting the removal of further barriers to LGBTIQ+ people accessing reproductive health care

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