Parel’s KEM Hospital has initiated efforts in collaboration with two of its alumni members to establish an IVF centre.
Sudhakar Shinde, BMC’s additional municipal commissioner, confirmed the municipal hospitals want to offer the facility to infertile couples who may find it difficult to afford private treatment. He said the group will comprise doctors from the gynaecology departments of KEM, LTMG (Sion), BYL Nair and Cooper hospitals, besides experts from other facilities.
Over the past few decades, there has been a noticeable increase in couples seeking medical assistance to conceive. IVF is offered mainly in the private sector where the cost of a treatment cycle could run up to lakhs. A senior civic official said BMC centres would try to offer the treatment at a subsidised cost of Rs25,000-30,000 per cycle. The KEM centre is likely to provide a blueprint for other hospitals to follow.
In January, KEM Hospital signed a MoU with of its former students Dr Anjali and Dr Aniruddha Malpani, who are now IVF specialists, to start a centre in the Parel hospital. Dean Dr Sangeeta Ravat said the civil work has begun. “We hope to start the centre in three to four months. We intend to start hiring manpower shortly,” she said. Mumbai’s first test-tube baby was born at KEM Hospital on August 6, 1986.
Infertility, estimated to affect 10% adults, is a growing concern in the Indian population. Several factors, including delayed marriages, changing lifestyle patterns, and environmental influences are believed to be contributing. In India, infertility affects men and women, with issues like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, low sperm count, and other medical conditions being common culprits. “Though there is a growing awareness about infertility and advancements in assisted reproductive technologies, access to these treatments remains uneven across the country, with urban areas having better facilities,” said the doctor, adding that if public hospitals in bigger cities start these facilities, more couples will be able to afford the treatment.