Tourist? Medical tourist!
Lastly medical tourism became so popular and important direction of tourism, that almost all countries of modern Europe are trying to get into this interesting niche and suggest the best they can in the field of medical services. Stem cells therapies, organ transplantation, cancer treatment, IVF treatment, plastic surgery and even dentistry are fighting for international clients nowadays. And it is quite understandable, because first of all, not all this practices are allowed in the country of the patient’s origin and secondly, the difference in price for treatment and medications can be perceivable. All this makes such trips abroad for treatment very attractive for international patients from both economical and medical point of view. Such trips are frequently associated by patients with their last hope to succeed in their treatment.
We, as a company, that works with International patients with infertility, want to share our experience about the level of the medical services, provided in few popular destinations for IVF treatment and surrogacy.
All information in this article should be considered as our personal opinion, based on our own experience and cannot be taken by anybody as the absolute truth. But we really believe that for somebody who is searching for the best options of treatment this knowledge could be quite helpful.
Today we are going to talk about one of the most popular destinations for IVF treatment and surrogacy in Europe – Ukraine.
IVF and Surrogacy tourism in Ukraine
Location for European tourists: 10 from 10
IVF and Surrogacy: allowed
Egg Donors: allowed/anonymous donors
Requirements for couples for Surrogacy: only married heterosexual couples
Transparency of the clinic’s work: 5 from 10
Medical facilities and technology available: 5 from 10
Maternity houses and NICU departments: Public hospitals, 3 from 10
Maternal mortality rate: 24 deaths per 100,000 live births
Children’s mortality rate (infants under-5): 8.7 per 1000 live births
Corruption level: High
Epidemiological situation in the country: Bad
Ukraine is a very popular destination for IVF and surrogacy tourism among European clients. Public perception of Ukraine as of the country with European standards of treatment has positive impact on European tourist´s minds. In Ukraine you can get affordable prices for surrogacy with the possibility of using donor’s oocytes of Slavic girls, who are considered the most beautiful and fertile donors among the others. Commercial surrogacy programs are legally allowed here due to specific medical reasons only for married heterosexual couples. In the end of the treatment, Intended Parents receive birth certificate of the babies born via surrogacy with their names as legal parents. Neither surrogate mother or egg donor have no parental rights for newborn babies.
However, in practice the picture is not as rosy as it seems.
According to our experience, there are some clinics in Ukraine that do not obey any ethical rules of medical treatment during surrogacy programs they offer.
For example, there were few cases when the embryos of different couples were confused in clinic and the embryo-transfers have been done to the wrong surrogate mother. In the end some couples got the babies, who were not genetically related to them. From moral and legal point of view it creates a lot of troubles for such parents, who, first of all, become confused and disoriented after such results of the treatment, and second, could be accused by the government of human trafficking, because in reality these babies are not theirs and third, it is almost impossible get passports for such babies in the consulates of origin of Intended Parents, because there are no reasons for giving them citizenship and documents for travelling home.
High level of corruption makes transparent work of the clinics and agencies in Ukraine almost impossible. In the city we were working before there are no private Maternity Houses. At the same time, government institutions are working very badly in Ukraine. There is no necessary equipment for neonatal care and sometimes even no places for babies in NICU department. Moreover, manipulations from the staff of the Maternity houses are widely spread in Ukraine. There will be no any treatment or attention to the patients until they get some corruption money for their services, price of which is usually as big as in private medical institutions in European Union countries. Not surprisingly, that the level of Mothers´ and infants’ mortality in Ukraine is quite high compared with developed European and Asian countries.
The epidemiological conditions life in Ukraine is not better. For instance, there is a high level of people with dangerous infection diseases there such as Measles, Tuberculosis and HIV infections because of poor vaccination and extreme poverty. Nevertheless, government doesn´t want to put them in the hospitals under some quarantine because of the lack of funding, so all these people are easily going around and can infect the others.
All these difficulties in work became reasons why we left Ukraine and didn’t want to continue our work there. After all, we believe that in future situation will become better. But for the moment we want to warn everybody who is willing to have surrogacy program there to be very careful choosing the agency and the clinic you are going to work with.
Despite all abovementioned, we were very happy to work with Academium clinic in Odessa city, which provides good results of treatment with reasonable prices for everyone who is willing to have babies. We really appreciate that we have been working with such professional reproductologist as Dr.Sobolev. We can recommend his clinic as one of the best clinics for IVF treatment and surrogacy in Ukraine.
Next destination we are going to talk about is Russia. Keep follow our blog!
Have some questions? Contact us! We will be happy to help!
Author: Sukhanova Hanna, legal adviser of Pons Medical Group