More than 21,000 people have signed a Care2 petition calling on the NHS South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to continue providing funding for fertility treatments.
The South Norfolk CCG is considering slashing funding from two IVF cycles per couple to zero.
It would make South Norfolk one of only three areas in England without NHS-funded IVF cycles, while West Norfolk, North Norfolk and Norwich offer two free cycles and Great Yarmouth and Waveney both offer three.
The author of the petition, Amanda Cox, said: “I don’t need to explain the pain that’s involved in being told you have fertility issues, anyone with a heart will understand the devastation it causes to a couple. Now imagine being told that the only hope you have to make this heartbreaking situation better has been taken away.”
Thousands of hopefuls may be denied parenthood if the South Norfolk CCG proposal succeeds and campaigners claim the potential annual savings of £188,000 are insignificant considering the total NHS budget, which was around £115.4 billion in 2015/16.
Care2 Campaigner Beth Granter said: “This is a human rights issue. If the NHS stop providing IVF, the only people who will be able to access this treatment are those who can afford it privately. The NHS must refuse to make any cuts to essential health services such as IVF. Central government must be forced to provide the budget needed to care for our health within the NHS.”
To view the Care2 petition, go to www.thepetitionsite.com/192/347/966/plans-to-cut-ivf-funding-in-south-norfolk/
The deadline for signing it is midnight tonight.