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Financial help could soon be available to couples seeking medically assisted reproduction

The government’s consideration of a trial subsidy scheme comes as Macao grapples with an ageing population and its lowest birth rate since 1985.

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The government’s consideration of a trial subsidy scheme comes as Macao grapples with an ageing population and its lowest birth rate since 1985.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:27 am

Couples needing access to medically assisted reproduction services may soon be able to benefit from government subsidies in a trial program, legislator Chan Chak Mo says.

Chan, who chairs the Legislative Assembly’s second standing committee, told Macau Daily Times that a bill to set up such subsidies was being considered. He did not reveal details of how couples could qualify for financial help.

The disclosure comes in the wake of Macao’s lowest birth rate in 37 years. The territory registered just 4,344 live births in 2022, which translates to a birth rate of 6.4 per thousand – the lowest recorded since 1985

[See more: Macao’s ageing population is a demographic time bomb, researchers warn]

Experts have told Macao News the government needs to make it easier for couples to have children.

Earlier this month, Professor Agnes Lam, the assistant dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Macau, and a former lawmaker said: “I think the government should really think of how to help people raise their kids, [provide] better housing, better education, and improve different types of medical care and child care”.

Chan meanwhile told Macau Daily Times that the government had already been referring local couples to medically assisted reproduction clinics in Hong Kong and subsidising their treatment.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:27 am

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