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.
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.
Conceivable Dreams, members of the Ontario infertility community and advocacy group, reacted this week:
“IVF coverage means that I can have the family I always dreamed of without going into enormous debt first and It means I can get medical treatment for a condition, that neither myself, nor my husband have control over.”
– Melissa Leverre, London, male factor infertility
“When your fertility doctor tells you IVF is your only hope…you feel defeated. And when he hands you a list of what IVF is going to cost you, including meds, admin fees, and procedures, you feel hopeless. Public funding will bring us hope again.”
– Christine and Terrance Thwaites, Mississauga
“We drove six hours to the fertility clinic and we worked multiple jobs to pay for IVF. We hope nobody else has to go to such extremes to afford a family.”
– Kayla and Kevin Roy, Sudbury
“Public funding of IVF means relief. When working with a diagnosis that is time sensitive, there is no longer an unnecessary wait while the patient saves up the funds.”
– Rebecca Brooks, Kitchener, premature ovarian failure, trying to conceive – 6.5 years
“We are still paying off debt from our first attempt at IVF. Public funding means that we don’t have to go into further debt to try again. We don’t have to give up hope of becoming parents.”
– Sandra David, Toronto, male factor infertility due to Cancer
“Following many failed fertility treatments, with debt and heavy hearts we decided to close that chapter and move onto adoption. Public IVF funding will give many the ability to keep reaching for their dream, to have a family, that without funding might not be possible.”
– Michelle Pleiter, Listowel, severe endometriosis
“My husband and I recently celebrated the birth of our daughter. This has completely diminished our savings. Public IVF funding gives me hope other families won’t have to go into such debt to have a child.”
– Stephanie and Mike Mauro, Peterborough
“We tried 12 procedures, including 3 IVFs of our own and have transferred up to 4 embryos at once because we were desperate and couldn’t afford to do them 1 at a time. That was a very scary decision to have to make. Nobody should have to be put in that position.”
– Carly Weiner, Toronto, male factor due to Cancer, and unexplained female factor
“I feel gratitude every day to be the mother of a boy, now 2, conceived through IVF. However, the process to become parents cost us $28,000 in treatments and four years of heartache. It also saw us making risky health choices in order to save money. With publicly funded IVF, today’s infertile couples won’t have to endure what we did.”
– Jocelyn Bell
, male and female factor, Dundas
I am community manager for the group Conceivable Dreams. As such I am compensated. This is a group and a cause I support 100 %. My opinion is my own.