Healthcare providers in Lithuania stopped offering assisted reproduction treatment to new patients after a new law took effect in January as they have to renew their licenses, the director of the State Health Care Accreditation Agency said on Thursday.
Ultrasound photo
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"They must receive a license before that can start providing services. There must be two licenses: for a cell bank and for assisted reproduction procedures," Nora Ribokienė said at a news conference.

Before the new Law on Assisted Reproduction came into force, clinics had to have a license for artificial insemination procedures.

The families who began treatment before the law took effect continue to receive it.

According to Ribokienė, 12 medical institutions provided assisted reproduction treatment before the new law came into force and five institutions -- the state-owned Santariškės Clinics and the privately-owned Baltic-American Clinic, Vaisingumo Klinika, Kardiolita and Jolsana -- applied for licenses in January.

All five clinics have until April to remove certain shortcomings, she said.

The law, in effect since Jan. 1, allows infertile couples to receive state funding for assisted reproduction treatment and it does not limit to the number of created embryos. Amendments to the law came into force in February, putting into place the requirement to indefinitely store unused embryo and allowing embryo donation.

Before the new law, assisted reproduction treatment was regulated by a decree of the health minister and was available only in private clinics.

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