Five-star babies? Australia IVF center adds resort

Thu Sep 18, 2008 9:41am EDT
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By Pauline Askin

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Australian fertility specialists aim to ease the stress out of making babies by combining their clinic with a five-star luxury resort, complete with a spa and masseurs.

The Cairns Fertility Centre in Western Australia, which will specialize in assisted reproduction and invitro fertilization (IVF) procedures, plans to take in patients early next year.

Doug Yek, the centre's financial director, said its location, near the Great Barrier Reef and other attractions, would also help boost medical tourism to the state, a market the specialists said was still in its infancy in Australia.

"Thirty years ago the first IVF baby was born, and since then the technology has improved dramatically, but the way in which a patient goes through the process of a treatment has largely stayed the same," Yek told Reuters.

"We are trying to take it up to the next level by providing services that minimize stress, which can play a big part in the outcome of the treatment, and hopefully improve their prospects."

The centre is the brainchild of IVF specialist Dr. John Yovich, who runs Western Australia's leading reproductive clinic, the PIVET Medical Centre.

Describing the Cairns clinic as a "one-stop-shop" for conceiving couples looking for a bit of relaxation, Yek said that in addition to the medical facilities, the 12-storey building would include luxury hotel apartments serviced by a swimming pool, gym, spa, barbeque area and restaurants.

Beauty therapists and counselors are also on hand, as well as surgeons for cosmetic procedures.   Continued...

<p>An in vitro fertilization procedure is seen in a handout photo. REUTERS/National Science Foundation/Handout</p>