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Health minister orders study to ascertain reasons behind increasing infertility, proposes art centers ar medical colleges

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | September 28, 2023 09:24 PM

CHANDIGARH: Showing deep concern towards rising infertility among couples, Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Balbir Singh on Thursday ordered in-depth study and survey to find out the possible causes behind the inability to conceive a child, while, also proposing to establish Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Centres at Government Medical Colleges in the state.

The Health Minister was chairing the first meeting of the state-level board constituted in connection with the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act, 2021 and the Surrogacy (regulation) Act, 2021 at Punjab Bhawan here.

He said that the proposed ART centres at Medical Colleges will facilitate the couples to address their infertility with medical procedures including in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy.

The Health Minister informed that the Punjab state is among the frontrunner states, which have already implemented both the acts— ART and Surrogacy Act, which seek to curb unethical practices related to issues including sex selection and exploitation of surrogates.

“With the implementation of these Acts, all the fertility and surrogacy clinics in the state are now required to obtain registration to carry out ART or Surrogacy procedures to infertile couples, ” he said.

Pertinently, the state appropriate authority has already granted registrations to the 106 institutions including 11 ART Clinics (Level 1), 53 ART Clinics (Level 2), 26 ART Banks and 16 Surrogacy Clinics.

Dr Balbir Singh said that the key objective of implementing these acts was the prevention of commercialisation of ART Clinics and surrogacy, besides, curbing the unethical practices. He informed that there is also a provision for rigorous punishment in case of contravention of the provisions of the Acts.

Meanwhile, Principal Secretary Health Vivek Partap Singh, who is vice-chairperson of the board, besides, Members including MLA Moga Dr Amandeep Kaur Arora, MLA Rajpura Dr Neena Mittal, MLA Amritsar East Dr Jeevanjyot Kaur and Director Health Services Dr Adarshpal Kaur, and Director Family Welfare Dr Hitinder Kaur and Assistant Director Department of Health and Family Welfare Punjab Dr Vineet Nagpal were among the other officers, who were present in the meeting.

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