September 18, 2008 / 1:36 PM / 10 years ago

Five-star babies? Australia IVF center adds resort

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.

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

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.

“This IVF clinic will be the biggest in the world offering complimentary services,” Yek said. “Females coming for IVF treatments can also get a nip and tuck.”

The centre hopes to attract 50 percent of its patients from around the world and 50 percent from within Australia.

“IVF is still a very sensitive procedure so patients can say they are going to Cairns on holiday and no one is any wiser,” Yek said.

“Confidentiality is the key and what we will provide will give that to patients because it’s all in the one building.”

The apartments will cost approximately A$ 200 to A$300 ($160-$240) a night, but packages are available for longer stays as most IVF treatment take at least three weeks.

Editing by Miral Fahmy

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