Committee of Supply 2024: Egg Freezing

Mr Chairman,

Last July, the Government amended the law to allow women between 21 and 37 years old to undergo elective egg freezing. The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) supports this as it provides women with the option to preserve fertility and their chances of having children later in life. This is necessary as young Singaporeans are getting married later and our TFR has fallen to 0.97 in 2023.

However, we can do more to support women who are thinking of or currently undergoing egg freezing.

Firstly, the procedure is still very costly in Singapore. Elective egg freezing can cost between $7,000 and $9,000 per cycle in a public hospital, or $10,000 to $15,000 per cycle in a private fertility clinic. Currently, there are no subsidies, co-funding, or Medisave available for elective egg freezing. There are only certain subsidies that couples can avail of when undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, if and when they choose to use the frozen eggs in the future. But if young women cannot afford to freeze their eggs at the optimal age, there will be no frozen eggs for couples to use later.

PSP therefore calls on the Government to consider some level of subsidies in public hospitals and allow the use of MediSave for this procedure. Conditions on subsidies can be imposed to prevent abuse and ensure that unutilised frozen eggs can be donated to other couples or used for other purposes like research or education.

Countries like South Korea, Japan, Australia and France already subsidise elective egg freezing. The Government can also encourage businesses to subsidise or cover the costs of such procedures and other fertility treatments as part of a package of fertility benefits for their employees. This is already common in the US, where many large employers routinely provide generous coverage for fertility treatments such as egg freezing and IVF as part of their employee benefits. We should encourage this to become the norm in a Singapore made for families.

Secondly, we can also do more to increase the resources available to young women who wish to go through egg freezing, which can be physically, psychologically, and financially taxing. Young women should be given fertility information through healthcare providers and institutes of higher learning. This would include information about contraception, pregnancy and fertility treatments. Space must be created for young women to have informed conversations about fertility and maternal health issues, so that they can be empowered to make decisions that are best for themselves.