A questionnaire survey on patients’ willingness to pay with reference to the waiting time of public in-vitro fertilization treatment in Hong Kong

Published:January 17, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2021.01.026

      Abstract

      Objective

      To evaluate patients’ willingness to pay (WTP) with reference to the waiting time of public in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment in order to improve the public IVF service in Hong Kong.

      Study Design

      A prospective multi-centred questionnaire survey. Infertile women attending infertility clinics of nine public hospitals in Hong Kong between October 2017 and August 2018 were asked to complete a questionnaire in their first clinic visit.

      Results

      Out of 1092 respondents, 10.4 % had private IVF cycles prior to their first visit at public hospitals. In general, patients were willing to pay more for a shorter waiting time for public IVF service. The proportion of respondents who were willing to pay more than HK$10,000 (US$1282) for one IVF cycle increased from 54.6% to 80.7% if the waiting time for public IVF service were hypothetically shortened from four years to one year. Likewise, 22.5 % versus 45.5 % were willing to pay more than HK$ 25,000 (US$3205) with a waiting time of four versus one year respectively. Assuming the cost per IVF cycle was HK$ 25,000 (US$3205), 23.4 % of respondents could afford one IVF cycle, 40.0 % of them could afford two IVF cycles and 31.5 % could afford three IVF cycles. A multivariate regression model demonstrated that only family income and presence of existing child(ren) were significant independent determinants of the maximum amount that an individual was willing to pay for IVF (p < 0.05). Those with family monthly income below HK$100,000 ($12,820) were less than half as likely, and those without existing child(ren) were more than double as likely, to be willing to pay higher for IVF.

      Conclusion

      Patients were willing to pay more for a shorter waiting time for public IVF service. Those with family income below HK$100,000 (US$ 12,820) were less than half as likely, and those without existing children were more than double as likely, to be willing to pay higher for IVF.

      Keywords

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