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MALTATODAY 22 May 2022

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TRUTH IS OF NO COLOUR WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT PAUL PACE SUNDAY • 22 MAY 2022 • ISSUE 1177 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY maltatoday Do people have the right to know of their partners' violent history? PAGES 12-13 'Not a single ward where there are not enough nurses' MT2 INTERVIEW PAGES 2-3 Domestic Violence Private company runs Mater Dei IVF without government contract INVESTIGATION Is government IVF programme delivering successful results for parents and value for money? Dismal pregnancy rates, a lucrative contract that benefits one private company, and a failed attempt at outsourcing government's IVF unit raises questions on the state-funded assisted reproduction service Data from 2019 and 2020 shows that egg freezing in Malta is not even achieving any results MATTHEW VELLA MALTA'S government-fi- nanced fertility service at Mater Dei Hospital is a public-private partnership which has spent the last two years operating a lucrative operation, despite its government concession having expired for the last two years. With unsatisfactory IVF rates that are raising questions about the success and efficiency of the Maltese government's fertility programme, the private oper- ator Cherubino was allowed to retain the concession without any formal contract extension or renewal. And it is paid thousands for each IVF cycle by the State – af- ter having won the €1.6 million tender to set up the unit back in 2014 – but its role is to collect the data from IVF treatments to present to the Embryo Pro- tection Authority: it is the State that provides and pays the med- ical personnel running the unit. And a plan in 2020 by the health ministry to outsource the government's IVF programme, citing as reasons the need to improve success rates and bring down to zero the ovarian hyper- stimulation (OHSS) cases that prevent fresh embryo trans- fers… was inexplicably never followed through. In an analysis of annual embry- ology data and the fees charged to the health department by the Cherubino PPP, a picture emerges of an IVF programme which for the last two years has struggled to achieve positive re- sults in spite of an annual €1.5 million financing by the govern- ment. €1.95 CYBERBULLYING Malta study reveals online cycle of abuse and retaliation PAGE 6 Gaming: a Maltese ecosystem MT2 OPINION Marisa Xuereb

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