Family Is The Future:
In some small way I started in Alberta. It’s true. When my Mom and Dad got married they had their honeymoon in Banff. From Ontario, they took the train through the Western provinces to stay in Alberta. For a truck driver and a teacher in their twenties, newlyweds, Alberta was glamorous and beautiful and different. It was the destination where they started to think of the future, together planning for a family that would come first in the shape of a baby girl and then 2 years later, a baby boy too.
Alberta is a place where many start to think of family and planning a future as a family. It is where the Lufts, shown in the picture above started planning to have a family before Kevin was diagnosed with cancer. For many couples health care issues will mean fertility is compromised. For many others infertility will come with no real reason ever and yet, family will remain elusive. This Family Day it is important to realize too that for one in six couples of reproductive age, infertility will often stand in the way of realizing a future, of growing a family. This Family Day many couples will struggle seeing reminders of children and families everywhere.
Most people can agree: family is the future. This is as true for Alberta, as it is for every province. Children are the future. But not everyone is able to conceive without medical help. One in six couples will be diagnosed with infertility. That’s a life altering diagnosis when you are ready and hoping for the future. The diagnosis is even more devastating when told that there is a treatment that very often works to help couples conceive, but that very treatment is not funded by anyone. IVF, in vitro fertilization is very often prescribed as medically necessary to help couples conceive. But at $10,000 to $13,000 a round it is beyond the reach of many.
Alberta time and again proves it is a province with huge heart. It is a world leader in so many things. It rallies even when the odds are almost insurmountable. Remember the strength of spirit shown during the Calgary Flood? It is a province filled with strong and brave people. It consistently ranks as one of the top three provinces on education report cards for Canada, alongside BC and Ontario. It is a province with many assets and Generations of Hope Fertility Assistance Fund is an important one, providing hope for couples needing financial assistance to proceed with health care treatment.
The Current Economic Reality:
This year so far has been a challenging one for the Alberta economy. There is a revenue shortage for government and it has been widely talked about. It is time for Alberta to take a close look at every dollar and decide to spend it wisely. Generations of Hope supports and wants that. Generations of Hope is committed to helping find ways to build a sustainable, equitable public program to provide some financial assistance to Albertans suffering from infertility.
The Generations of Hope Fertility Assistance Fund has given over $1 million in grants to date helping over 100 Albertans create their family. 128 babies have been born, with 21 more on the way because of this assistance. That is an amazing legacy.
Public funding for In Vitro Fertilization is Efficient:
IVF is a highly successful treatment which can have success rates as high as 70 % per cycle when fresh and frozen cycles are combined. (that’s cumulative success rates.) A recent study in Melbourne 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.
Children are the future for every province, even in times of economic turmoil. Children grow into smart consumers, taxpayers, caregivers, policy makers, politicians and business owners. They inherit and build the future. That’s why it’s so important to keep talking about funding IVF with single embryo transfer. IVF funding with SET builds healthy babies, healthy families and healthy futures.
Public Funding For In Vitro Fertilization Saves Money:
The 2013 Assisted Reproductive Technologies Report found that if IVF were tied to single embryo transfer savings of up to $179 million could be realized over the first 18 years of life. Shortly after 18 the child starts to contribute to the economy as a taxpayer. Why does SET and IVF funding make sense? Because when couples are forced to take on three jobs, or take out a bank loan to pay for IVF, they tend to take more risks transferring multiple embryos. Multiples come with higher risk of health complications to Mom and baby. In the end they end up costing much more to the health care system.
Family matters for every province. In Ontario the province has allocated $50 million annually to an IVF funding program being rolled out this year. The future of Alberta is partly dependent on smart allocation of resources which lead to healthier outcomes. This is what funding IVF would do. IVF funding tied to SET has been shown to be successful in multiple areas of the world from Australia to Northern Ireland, Belgium, Norway and Sweden. Poland is another example of a country that funds IVF. Public funding for in vitro fertilization is efficient because it leads to fewer multiple births in areas of the world where funding is tied to SET. Healthy babies, healthy Moms and more efficient health care spending are all the direct result of public funding for IVF.
Family matters, on Family Day, and every day in Alberta. Family is the future. Right now Alberta needs to be smart and funding IVF is the smartest course of action moving forward.
I am community manager for Generations of Hope and as such I am compensated. My opinion is all my own and it is truthful.