It’s time for BC infertility patients to have accessible, affordable fertility treatment. What does that look like? Well, an IVF funding program can take many forms. A tax credit, a full round of funding, or a grant. In fact there are numerous different IVF funding models in place in four Canadian provinces. But BC infertility patients currently have no IVF funding program. That means BC infertility patients are worse off than many others living in Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick.
There are currently four provinces in Canada that offer a fertility funding program for infertility patients. But, BC sadly is not one of those.
Here are five reasons why IVF Funding Matters to BC:
IVF Funding Programs Save Money. (see point five for more on that) Why? Because when couples spend thousands of dollars on IVF treatment, they often transfer multiple embryos thinking they will maximize their chances. That approach often leads to multiples. While twins and triplets are adorable, they are often born pre-term and spend time in costly NICU. Multiples come with higher risk of health complications to Mom and baby. Multiple births cost much more to the health care system than healthy single births do. Successful funding programs, like the one in Ontario, mandate SET (single embryo transfer) which helps to save health care money and assets.
Maternal Health Outcome:
IVF Funding Coupled with single embryo transfer policy is Best for Maternal Health and child health as well. Multiple pregnancy is the most powerful predictive factor for adverse maternal, obstetrical, and perinatal outcomes. Single embryo transfer provides better outcomes. One healthy singleton birth is much less taxing on mother and the health care system.
The BC economy is in good shape. This is a smart health policy initiative to invest in. Provinces that invest in families creating good health policy now, build healthier futures for everyone. In fact, healthy children become taxpayers and politicians, parents, doctors, and teachers too.
It’s 2017 and four provinces have some level of funding in Canada. Quebec offers some financial support through its continued fertility drug coverage, and sliding scale tax credit for expenses related to IVF, which is based on income level. Alberta and BC have no coverage, despite advocates striving for support there for many years. Manitoba has a tax credit and New Brunswick has an IVF grant up to $5,000.
IVF is a highly successful treatment with success rates as high as 70 % per cycle when fresh and frozen cycles are combined. ( cumulative success rates.) A Melbourne study indicated that IVF resulted in higher pregnancy and live birthrates and was almost five times more cost effective than intra-uterine insemination (IUI). The Royal Women’s Hospital and Melbourne IVF study put the cost per live birth at $8735 for IVF versus $42,487 for artificial insemination.
IVF Funding Programs Save Money
The World Health Organization recognizes infertility as a complex health care issue. Four Canadian provinces know infertility patients need access to the right treatment at the right time. IVF funding programs save money while creating healthier moms and babies. It’s time BC also understood and implemented an IVF funding program.
I am working with BC patient advocates to share their stories, and as such I am compensated. My opinion is my own and it is also truthful.