Department of Health

Public fertility care services

Public fertility care services are giving more Victorians the chance to become parents.

Key messages

  • Public fertility care is now available to eligible Victorians who want to start or grow their families.
  • The services will benefit thousands of Victorians who currently have limited access to private services.
  • The Royal Women's Hospital is partnering with health services in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria to make fertility care more accessible across the state.
  • Australia’s first public egg and sperm bank has also been established at the Royal Women’s Hospital and is accepting donations from the Victorian community.
  • Patients will need a referral from a general practitioner (GP) or relevant specialist to access public fertility care, including access to eggs, sperm and embryos from the public egg and sperm bank.

Public fertility care is helping to make access to in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and other fertility services fairer and more affordable for thousands of Victorians.

The public fertility care service model is focused on improving access for people who currently have limited access to private services, such as:

  • low-income earners
  • Victorians living in rural and regional areas
  • people who need donor or surrogacy services, such as LGBTIQA+ and single people
  • people who need fertility preservation due to medical treatment, such as those with cancer or undergoing gender reassignment treatment
  • people who need genetic testing because they are known carriers of medical conditions that may pose a threat to the life of their child.

The service model includes evidence-based access criteria.

Fertility care providers

The following health services are now delivering a range of fertility services:

  • Royal Women's Hospital
  • Monash Health
  • Mercy Health
  • Northern Health – Epping Hospital
  • Mildura Base Public Hospital
  • Bendigo Health
  • South West Healthcare – Warrnambool
  • Barwon Health – Geelong
  • Goulburn Valley Health – Shepparton
  • Grampians Health – Ballarat
  • Western Health – Sunshine.

Patients can access a range of fertility care services closer to home, such as fertility consultations, diagnostic tests and ultrasounds. The exact range of services available will differ between sites and patients are supported by telehealth where appropriate.

Australia's first public egg and sperm bank was also established in Victoria in July 2023. The Royal Women’s Hospital is operating the bank as an extension of the public fertility care and it is currently accepting egg, sperm and embryo donations from the community.

Services offered

Once fully operational, public fertility care is expected to benefit up to 5,000 Victorians a year, saving them an average of $10,000 annually.

Services will include:

  • intrauterine insemination, IVF and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment cycles
  • less invasive fertility treatments prior to IVF or ICSI treatment
  • pre-treatment testing, counselling and fertility information
  • donor services, supported by the establishment of Australia’s first public egg and sperm bank
  • altruistic surrogacy services
  • fertility preservation where medical treatment may compromise fertility, including cancer treatment and gender reassignment treatment
  • genetic testing for people who are known carriers of serious medical conditions.

See participating health services’ websites for the latest details.

Operating model

The Royal Women’s Hospital and Monash Health are partnering with other health services in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria to make fertility care more accessible across the state.

Service providers have been selected according to their ability to provide a high-quality, comprehensive range of person-centred fertility care services to a broad range of people, particularly those who are excluded from or unable to afford a private provider.

See the list of participating health services.


To access public fertility care, a person will need a referral from their GP or relevant specialist.

They will be placed on a waiting list for an initial appointment with a fertility specialist at a public fertility care service.

The cost of the public hospital services provided will be free for most people. Some patients may incur out-of-pocket costs for medication, diagnostics and/or specialised tests.

Clinical access criteria

The clinical access criteria are designed to provide Victorians with fair and equitable access to public fertility care. They are based on research and clinical best practice.

To be eligible for public fertility care, a person must:

  • be a current resident in Victoria
  • hold a Medicare card
  • have a referral from a GP or specialist.

The clinical access criteria are as follows:

  • A maximum egg age of 42 years at the time of treatment. Evidence shows the chances of a successful outcome significantly decreases with increasing age.
  • A lifetime cycle limit of two stimulated in IVF or ICSI cycles per person. This is to ensure Victorians experiencing infertility have a fair chance of creating a family.

The access criteria aligns with recommendations from the independent review into assisted reproductive treatment conducted by Michael Gorton (the Gorton ReviewExternal Link ) and the findings from the 2018 assisted reproductive treatment Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) reviewExternal Link .

The Gorton Review recommended a broad range of fertility services focusing on under-served and diverse groups and the MBS Medicare review recommended that access is limited by age and number of cycles.

Referring patients

Participating health services will actively manage waiting lists, and inform patients when they are referred about expected timeframes based on their individual circumstances. The health services will ensure people can access the service fairly, including those whose health needs mean they need urgent care.

Access to services and wait times are carefully monitored.

Patients can still be referred to private providers while on the public fertility care waiting list.

See participating health services below to see which health services are currently accepting patient referrals, and for details on the services they offer.

Service providers

The Royal Women's Hospital and Monash Health are partnering with other health services across Victoria to provide statewide access to people in both metropolitan and regional areas.

Participating providers

Public egg and sperm bank

Australia’s first public egg and sperm bank has opened at the Royal Women’s Hospital. The bank is an extension of public fertility care and is currently accepting egg, sperm and embryo donations from the Victorian community.

The bank aims to increase access to donor eggs, sperm and embryos for Victorians who are receiving public fertility care and require donor services.

Eligible Victorians seeking to access public fertility care – including the use of donated eggs or sperm from the bank – will need to be referred by their GP or specialist and may be placed on a waitlist.

To find out more about the Victorian public egg and sperm bank, visit the Royal Women’s Hospital websiteExternal Link .

Reviewed 21 May 2024


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