Information for Prospective Patients
This information sheet is for people enquiring about the Public Fertility Service
What is the Public Fertility Service?
The Public Fertility Service is a no-cost fertility service available to Victorian residents. Currently, the service is being provided by Monash Health, the Women’s and their Partner Health Service over the next 12 months at; Barwon Health Geelong, Bendigo Health Service, Goulburn Valley Health Shepparton, Grampians Health Ballarat, Mercy Health Heidelberg, Mildura Base Public Hospital, Northern Health Epping, South West Healthcare Warrnambool and Western Health Sunshine.
It provides Victorian residents with access to comprehensive, world-class fertility treatment including genetic counselling, fertility preservation and fertility assessment and treatment.
Who can access the service?
The Women’s assists eligible couples and singles of all genders who have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive or whose situation may prevent or impair fertility or safe conception.
What is the eligibility criteria?
The service is available to Victorian residents – including same sex and other couples and single people with a donor. To be eligible to access the service, you will need to:
- be a Victorian resident who holds a Medicare card
- have a referral from a GP or specialist which includes all necessary test and investigation.
- be using an egg (your own or from a donor) that is 42 years or younger at time of treatment.
How do I access the service?
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will need to see your GP or specialist for a referral to the Women’s or Monash Health. The referral must include the results of all relevant tests and investigations (to be conducted at your own cost through a pathology and/or diagnostic service).
Once we receive a referral from your GP or specialist, your referral will be triaged by RWH clinical staff, and you will receive a letter* from us outlining if your referral has been accepted. If you live close to one of our partner health services who are offering the service your first appointment will be made with one of their medical specialist teams.
*Digital Letter will be available through the Parkville Health Hub if the patient has access. Otherwise a letter will be sent via post.
Are there any costs associated with the Public Fertility Service?
While the Public Fertility Service is free, there may be costs incurred outside of the service for medications, tests and investigations conducted by a pathology and/or diagnostic service.
Is there a waiting list for the service?
Once your referral has been received and accepted, you will be notified. We will schedule your first appointment as soon as possible. Once you are enrolled with the service, you will be commencing your fertility treatment journey.
Each person’s treatment journey is different. The timing and type of treatment will depend on your specific fertility needs and that of your partner or donor. There are lots of different options for treating infertility and the different pathways will affect the timelines for each person.
What are the treatments provided by the Public Fertility Service?
The Public Fertility Service provides:
- Fertility assessment and management, including consultations, fertility investigations and ovulation induction
- Assisted reproductive treatments, as well as counselling, information and support
- Fertility preservation for medical reasons
- Public sperm and egg bank – not yet fully established
- PGTM (preimplantation genetic testing monogenic) to be offered in the future.
Are there age restrictions for the Public Fertility Service?
Yes. The public fertility service accepts:
- People aged 42 years or younger using their own eggs
- People aged less than 51 years with donor eggs – the egg being used must be 42 years or
younger at time of collection
I’m receiving fertility treatment at another service. Can I switch to the public service?
Yes, if you are receiving fertility care at another service and you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply to enrol in the Public Fertility Service. To do so, you will need a new GP or specialist referral to the public fertility service at the Women’s (or Monash Health). You may also need to undertake some additional tests and investigations which can be obtained with a GP or specialist referral to a private testing service, at your own cost.
I’m receiving private fertility treatment at another service. Are there more tests and investigations needed for the Public Fertility Service?
Yes, while you will have undertaken some tests and investigations in the private sector, there may be additional tests required for you and your partner (if relevant) in the public sector.
Your referring GP or specialist will have this information and be able to advise you. If you and your partner/donor need additional tests and investigations, these can be obtained with a GP or specialist referral to a private testing service.
Can I be fast-tracked to the new Public Fertility Service if I am 40 years old or over?
To ensure the public fertility service continues to meet the needs of all Victorian residents, we are unable to fast track an individual.
Once my GP or specialist writes a referral, when will I have my first appointment?
Once received, your referral including all your relevant tests and investigation results, will be triaged by clinical staff at the Women’s. If you meet the criteria, you will be notified by letter that your referral has been accepted.
You will then be sent an appointment date and time. This appointment will be with a member of our medical specialist team or if you live closer to one of our partner health services offering the service it will with one of their medical specialist team.
We / they will schedule your first appointment as soon as possible. Once you are enrolled with the service, you will be commencing your fertility treatment journey.
Can I access a donor through the new Egg and Sperm Bank?
Not yet. The new Egg and Sperm Bank relies on donations from members of the community. At this stage, we expect the bank to be up and running in mid -2023.
Can I access the Public Fertility Service if I have my own egg/sperm donor?
Yes. The service is available to any couple or single person, including people with a known egg/sperm donor. However, you and your donor will need to obtain a referral from your GP or specialist to the Women’s even if you are already enrolled with another fertility service and include all the relevant investigations and tests according to the Public Fertility Service page on our website.
During your treatment journey, your donor will be required to attend an appointment at the hospital, either with you or on their own.
I have frozen embryos/eggs/sperm; can I use them if I am a patient of the Public Fertility Service?
Yes. The service is available to people who have frozen embryos, eggs or sperm. However, you will need to obtain a referral from your GP or specialist to the Women’s even if you are already enrolled with another fertility service. The Women’s will liaise with the service where your embryos, eggs or sperm are currently being stored to organise a transfer. The cost of transporting your frozen embryos, eggs or sperm must be covered by you.
If I can’t access the service at the Women’s, can I access the service at Monash Health?
Monash Health and the Women’s have the same eligibility criteria. Monash Health might be more suitable for people living in the south-east.
Where can I get more information?
A good place to start is with your GP or specialist. They can talk through the options with you, discuss the eligibility criteria and your specific needs.
More information about the Women’s Public Fertility Service is available at
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If you have any additional questions about Mildura Base Public Hospital's services, please contact us.