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Let’s talk about funding vasectomies, says doctor

May 18th, 2012 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

VASECTOMIES should be part of the debate on unwanted pregnancies, says a doctor who works in the field.

Dr Simon Snook has been a practiced for 16 years and performs around 60 vasectomies a month.

He supports the government announcement to fund long acting reversible contraception (LARC) for women on benefits and their daughters aged 16-19.

“It takes away the user error so the effectiveness is much higher, so you can avoid unwanted pregnancy more easily,” says Dr Snook who works in a range of sexual health and contraception clinics

The contraception offer included in next week’s Budget aimed at women sparked some reactions, but a Stuff poll showed more than 80 per cent of poll respondents wanted men targeted as well.

Dr Snook says it is unfortunate that there is no funding in New Zealand for men, unless they are on a low income.

“There is a funding stream if you’re on low income, but you have to apply for that personally.”

The cost for a vasectomy with Snip Vasectomy Clinic is $395, which Dr Snook said is a fairly standard price.

The cost for a vasectomy at Wellington Vasectomy Clinic is $400.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett’s office told Stuff.co.nz vasectomy funding had been available for 20 years

Men who have access to community service cards can get funding through Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ).

WINZ has never been clear who they will or won’t fund, says Dr Snook.

A Work and Income spokesperson said they can provide financial support to help with the cost of a vasectomy if they can’t get any financial help from their District Health Board or Family Planning.

While Work and Income does not fund vasectomies, it can help with up to $300 towards the surgical procedure and associated costs such as travel and accommodation.

To get this support the person needs to be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident and then apply for a Special Needs Grant.

At the moment LARC can cost women between $100 and $180 for five years protection with the depo provera injection, intra uterine device or jadelle implant.

The Government plans to spend $1 million on making long-term contraception such as implants or intra-uterine devices.

 

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  1. I was declined by Winz although i don’t have a job, and am a stay at home dad, because my wife earns too much, yet we still cant afford to pull $400 out of no where to have the op, snip.co.nz did a deal on the grabone discount site about a year ago offering about $100 off which was cool, but wasnt ready then, hopefully they do it again soon

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