Wednesday, September 23, 2015

IVF Clinics - Small is Beautiful

There are a number of factors that infertile couples have to take into consideration when choosing an IVF clinic. One of the most important criterion should be the clinic’s success rate- the doctor’s competence with making babies. However, consider a hypothetical example- Suppose you have a choice between 2 clinics that have similar success rates; one, a large IVF clinic that’s part of a hospital and the other, a standalone one; which one would you pick?

I’d like to come clean at this point and state that I’m admittedly biased on this one; but here’s why I feel that it’s best to do IVF at a smaller clinic:

IVF is a Medical Problem not an Illness

IVF is different from most medical treatments. Infertile couples are not patients – they simply have a medical problem; they need medical assistance in order to have a baby. Since most doctors are employed by and work in hospitals, it also means that they find it more convenient to provide care in a hospital setting. However, in no way does this prove that the quality of medical care delivered in a hospital is better than that provided by a standalone IVF clinic.

However, most patients still associate medical care with hospitals and that’s where they will head when they want IVF done. Their perception is that it’s a much safer place for their treatment. They feel that in the event of any complication, the hospital would be more competent at handling it. What patients forget is that hospitals are primarily designed to deal with ill patients; they aren’t geared at providing care for infertile couples.

Some Considerations

The problems & disadvantages of opting for IVF treatment at hospitals are:

Red Tape- Infertile couples find themselves waiting in serpentine queues along with a whole lot of other patients
Hospital bureaucracy (for billing and admission & discharge) can be a pain point
Because the chances of complications with IVF treatment in a good clinic are so low, the ability to take care of complications is more of a theoretical benefit
Large hospitals can be ultra-sterile, uncaring and icy in their dealings with  patients

Why opt for Smaller Clinics?

Small clinics are much more focused on caring for infertile couples. It’s because they specialize only in providing IVF treatment- that’s all they do!
This also means they have honed their skills  to perfection
Not only do they provide excellent medical care; but also have various systems in place to provide emotional support and handhold the patient through the course of their treatment
Smaller clinics are definitely warmer in their approach to their patients
It’s much easier for couples to establish a personal equation and rapport with the staff members here
It's far easier for patients to get their problems resolved, because they don't have to go through layers of hospital bureaucracy

Some More Reasons

Standalone IVF clinics are also much more responsive to infertile couple’s needs, because their very survival depends on delighting their patients (unlike hospitals that have many other departments, including cardiac surgery/joint replacement etc that are more glamorous and profitable). They are also much more cost-effective and efficient, because they do not have to deal with bloated administrative overheads.

Of course, all large clinics are not bad; and all  small clinics  are not good. You need to be discerning and invest time and energy in doing your homework before selecting the clinic which is right for you.

Not happy with the attention you are getting from your IVF clinic? Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at so that I can guide you better!

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