Sims IVF, a leading fertility clinic set up in Dublin in 1997, recently opened its first Cork facility and expected to treat up to 400 couples this year.
The clinic has invested €3m in the expansion, which is expected to create 20 jobs — an initial eight jobs now, with additional recruitment in the coming months.
More than 6,000 babies have been born in Ireland over the last 18 years due to fertility treatment with SIMS.
"We've treated hundreds of couples from Munster in our facility in Dublin, but it is much more helpful and convenient for them if they can engage with us in Cork," said Dr Walsh.
"This new fertility unit in Cork allows patients to discuss their concerns in absolute confidentiality and to find out about the range of sophisticated technology, tests and treatment they can avail of, to overcome their fertility challenges."
"People are very open to it," he said. "I think the embarrassment around it has gone. Fertility treatment has been really normalised over the past decade or so."
Treatments include IVF, sperm donation, donor egg treatment, reproductive immunology, and EEVA, the early embryo viability assessment test, which is a recent major breakthrough in supporting fertility treatment.
"Say it takes around two cycles of IVF. That would be around €7,000 or €8,000," he said.
"And I don't think Irish couples quite realise the support they get from the Government in relation to having treatment. Firstly, the drugs are largely paid for by the Government. Secondly, you can claim tax back on all out of pocket expenses so you get 20% back. It's quite a substantial contribution."
"Reproductive technology is an exciting field of medicine focussed on new life, and I welcome the fact this new Sims IVF Clinic in Cork now offers more choice, access and information for people in Munster."
Source: Kelly O'Brien irishexaminer.com