Since I’ve always succumbed to the notion “Life is Short; Eat Dessert First” – I’d like to give you my takeaway for this post now, rather than wait until the end. So here goes.
Infertility is not a choice. It is not a problem – nor is it bad luck – and it certainly does not discriminate. Anyone, at any time, can be faced with it. Infertility is a medical condition.
With that in mind, allow me to return to the meat of the issue, or the main course if you please.
A few months ago, I blogged a series of posts based on Conceivable Dreams, the OHIP for IVF Coalition. They are the provincial voice for thousands of infertility sufferers and their supporters across Ontario, with the single goal of having OHIP coverage of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) reinstated by the Ontario government.
Bad news: Ontarians are still waiting. (Seriously? What’s the holdup; this one’s a no brainer!)
Good news: The call for government support is continuing across the country, with Generations of Hope, an Alberta-based patient group raising awareness of infertility and the need for government support towards treatments like in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
Now in case you need a little nudge, here’s a reminder why publicly funded IVF makes complete sense:
- It’s not as rare as you think. In fact, infertility is an emotionally painful experience that impacts 1 in 6 Ontarians; more than 15% of the population made up of our friends, colleagues, family members and peers.
- As you know, Quebec introduced funding for up to three cycles of IVF to help create families. This also helped reduce the number of multiple pregnancies in that province from 27.2% to 5.2% in just 6 months. Quebec is now on track to save hundreds of millions of dollars as the number of twins and triplets in neonatal intensive care units is expected to drop significantly.
- It’s estimated that Ontario could realize similar savings by providing OHIP coverage for IVF: between $400-$550 million in savings over 10 years to be exact.
- For the most part, we’re in agreement. 75% of Ontarians support OHIP funding of IVF similar to Quebec.
So how does this translate across the country? Turns out that Alberta conducted a similar study, and the results were just as staggering: Research estimates a 60% reduction in rate of multiple births through IVF and $78 million in net savings to the Alberta health care system in first 5 years.
(Making babies and saving tons of money in the long run? Yes please.)
Here’s a call for action. Ask your local government candidate where he/she stands on funding of IVF and whether they will commit to helping infertile couples create families – in a safe way that helps reduce costs to the healthcare system.
And, if you live in Alberta, Generations of Hope has organized a petition urging the government to fund IVF and other fertility treatments. The petition is available to sign online at www.generationsofhope.ca as well as at the office of the Regional Fertility Program. To date 11,500 Albertans have signed the petition.
Next week, I’ll share some recent media coverage, provide nitty gritty details surrounding the cost-benefit analysis, and publish reader reaction from the first series of posts and this one as well. Until then!
This post was sponsored by Generations of Hope. The opinions on this blog are my own, and I happen to wholeheartedly support publicly funded IVF.