Confidential advice to Southern District Health Board members
deciding whether to privatise the South's fertility service
says strong competition from the private sector contributed
to making an in-house service unviable.
The Otago Fertility Service (OFS) provides privately-funded
IVF cycles as well as public procedures, and its clinical
director Prof Wayne Gillett had urged an increase in private
patients to ensure the service was financially secure.
However, it will be privatised, board members decided behind
closed doors on November 6.
Released this week under the Official Information Act, a
management report suggests the Dunedin-based service could
not compete with private sector competition.
Private provider Fertility Associates, which is seen as
likely to win the contract for the southern service, has a
satellite clinic in Queenstown. Citing commercial
sensitivity, the board withheld the report's detailed
The service was already not meeting target volumes for
''The service did not meet the revenue target from private
patients last year, and are behind target [year-to-date].
''Other providers of tertiary fertility services are
accepting private patients in Queenstown and Invercargill,
resulting in reduced numbers of private referrals to OFS,
which is based predominantly in Dunedin.''
The facility also needed an upgrade, and faced increased
regulatory requirements and workforce pressures.