25 Feb 2014

Call to pay egg donors compensation

7:16 am on 25 February 2014

A committee advising the Government on women's fertility has reported that New Zealand has a major egg shortage and donors need to be encouraged with better compensation.

The Advisory Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology says too many couples are heading overseas for fertility treatment because that way they get better access to donors.

It says many are then struggling to bring embryos back to New Zealand.

Committee chair John Angus says donors should be compensated up to $3000 for things such as time off work and the cost of childcare. At the moment, he says, they might be compensated only for parking and the cost of drugs for the procedure.

Fertility New Zealand says better compensation is needed to boost donor numbers, although president Nigel McKerras says it would need to be tightly regulated to avoid exploitation.

The committee's recommendations will go Health Minister Tony Ryall in March.