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 in 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.
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
However, do remember that the Goldilocks Rule applies here as well. You don’t want to go to a clinic which is so small that the doctor does only 1 IVF cycle a week either ! The optimum number is about 300-400 cycles per year. This keeps the clinic busy, without overloading them.
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.
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 www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you!