Ontario’s infertility community reacted with many emotions this week to news that IVF will soon be funded. That’s long awaited for many who took two or three jobs and sometimes used credit cards and second mortgages to be able to pay for health care treatment needed to get the health care treatment prescribed.
Last Thursday, Ontario’s Minister of Health and Longterm Care Deb Matthews announced that public funding would be made available for in vitro fertilization. IVF funding is part of the draft budget officially. The funding will take place starting in 2015. An advisory committee or board will be appointed to help roll the program out. There will be $50 million a year and it will service 4000 people. That’s a victory in so many ways for so many people in the infertility community wondering how do I pay for in vitro fertilization. It’s a huge step for those struggling with infertility because the announcement clearly illustrated that the Liberal government of Ontario views infertility as a health condition.
For 1 in 6 struggling with infertility this is huge news. Conceivable Dreams has been advocating for this funding for 6 years now. This week they celebrated that victory. There is more work ahead in partnership with the Ontario government. There are many details to figure out and many questions from patients regarding what this new expanded program will look like.
But this week infertility advocates and patients in Ontario like Danielle Xavier, who started trying to conceive at 25 and struggled for five years, have hope.
Infertility impacts 1 in 6. There are numerous causes of infertility. Sometimes infertility can look like this – Carla has PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome )and had trouble conceiving because of that health condition. But the repercussions to society are greater than that number.
Public funding for IVF is a policy that will benefit everyone. Because infertility impacts everyone. Employers, families, grandparents, and the health care system as well. On Thursday morning when the announcement happened I woke up to dozens of infertility patients emailing me and tweeting, many of whom were crying happy tears. Some who were overcome entirely. Many recognized this is their last chance at building family. I wanted to share a few of their reactions here today. Because this is a hopeful group and this announcement has given them hope for a future. I don’t have to tell you how priceless that is.