One of the interesting reactions to this morning’s BBC Radio Four programme about Danish sperm donors for me has been that some UK clinics have been cheerily tweeting that they do have sperm from UK donors, that there is no shortage, that patients needing donor sperm can come to them.
It’s all very well, but why hasn’t this information been getting to patients? The couple we interviewed for the programme who’d been told that they’d face a wait of ten years had no idea that there were clinics in the UK with ready supplies of donors. Why have patients found it so difficult to get a clear view of the situation? And how ready are the ready supplies of sperm here in the UK? Patients want – and need – a choice of donors and having that choice needs to be an essential part of the provision.
I can’t help thinking that what clinics really need to be doing is working together as this could solve the problem in one fell swoop, although I’m not sure that’s a change we’re ever going see. Competition may be good for clinics, but it certainly isn’t good for patients.