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ART: from 1 January 2024, the new LEAs (Essential Levels of Assistance) for Assisted Reproductive Technology

The debate NUOVI LEA PER LA PMA: UN PASSO VERSO SERVIZI ASSISTENZIALI REGIONALI PIÙ UNIFORMI E INCLUSIVI (“NEW LEAs FOR ART: A STEP TOWARDS MORE STANDARD AND INCLUSIVE REGIONAL HEALTH SERVICES”), promoted by SIRU (Società Italiana della Riproduzione Umana, Italian Society of Human Reproduction) closed in Rome on November 29, at the Momec in Montecitorio.

In fact, the new LEAs – which sanction the entry of ART into the National Health Service – will come into force on January 1, 2024.

This crucial step ensures access to treatments for couples who would otherwise have difficulty conceiving a child. This inclusion not only concerns infertility, but also extends to conditions such as genetic diseases. This is a revolutionary change, that aims to ensure a standard access to these treatments.

Infertility has an undeniable social dimension, and cannot be relegated, as often happens, to a sometimes even hidden problem affecting a minority of couples left alone in the face of their difficulties.

ART: from 1 January 2024 the new essential levels of assistance for medically assisted procreation

With the LEAs, infertility is recognised as a condition to be treated. A functional change capable of guaranteeing a more equitable and inclusive access to ART procedures in all Italian regions, ensuring quality, safety and appropriateness of treatments and limiting interregional mobility and mobility abroad, to other European or non-European countries.

It is well known that the birth rate in our country has been constantly decreasing in recent years. But, according to the latest statistics presented in the 17th report of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 16,625 new births were registered during 2021 thanks to Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) techniques, equivalent to 4.2% of the total births. The goal with LEA implementation is to reach 7% by 2025.

Antonino Guglielmino, founder of SIRU (Società Italiana della Riproduzione Umana, Italian Society of Human Reproduction), underlined: “With the LEAs, we have obtained the legitimation of care, which becomes a right for all couples who need it, in line with the rules and regulations of our National Health Service. This is the first step of a broader work involving the Regions”.

The year 2024 marks the tenth anniversary of the ruling of the Constitutional Court, which established the legitimacy of heterologous techniques but, despite the ten years that have elapsed, many couples still don’t know that they can follow this path in our country. “The entry into force of the LEAs must also be an opportunity to promote greater information on these issues, both locally and during the counseling carried out before the start of the journey”, pointed out Walter Vegetti, Head of the Centro di Procreazione Medicalmente Assistita of the Fondazione Cà Granda Ospedale Policlinico in Milan.

IBSA Italy confirms its commitment aimed at simplifying the ART process, appropriately informing and facilitating the relationship between specialists and couples, thus guaranteeing a more inclusive path to ART procedures in all Italian regions, limiting inter-regional mobility and mobility abroad and, most importantly, ensuring the quality, safety and appropriateness of treatments.