A NEW day-care centre at the Queen Mary Hospital will bring fresh hope for infertile couples trying to have children. Up to another 200 couples a year will be able to receive treatment at the new centre. The centre, which opens today in the hospital's Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, offers reproduction treatment, gynaecological check-ups and out-patient examination. The department's chief of service, Dr Ho Pak-chung, said the hospital would be able to economise on resources by closing the centre at night and offering only day-care treatment. 'On average each year, we help 600 patients to receive assisted reproduction treatment. Now we hope another 200 couples can benefit as a result of better allocation of resources,' Dr Ho said. The centre will help couples hoping to receive test-tube babies where the embryo is formed by in-vitro fertilisation - fertilisation of eggs with sperm in a test tube. The success rate for the method had shown improvement this year, said Dr William Yeung Shu-biu, a lecturer in the department. About 22 per cent of couples who went for treatment had had children so far this year, compared to 17 per cent in 1994. The success was due to improved techniques and better clinical experience gained by the department, Dr Yeung said. The centre, formerly a gynaecology ward, is equipped with 17 beds and operation rooms which allow minor surgery to be performed.