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73% of British Columbians believe in vitro fertilization treatments should be publicly funded.

1 in 6 BC families struggle with infertility.

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Multiples tend to require expensive care after birth and throughout their lives.

Public funding of IVF can reduce the rate of multiple births from close to 30 percent to less than 10 percent in BC.

BC's health system could save $78 million over 5 years by publicly funding in vitro fertilization.

 

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73% of British Columbians believe in vitro fertilization treatments should be publicly funded.

Publicly funding in vitro fertilization treatment gives all British Columbians, regardless of income or geography, the opportunity to build their families safely. Families are British Columbia's foundation. Strong families help build strong communities, a thriving economy, and a more secure future for the next generations.

Infertility is a serious medical condition that affects both male and female partners. Treatments, although often successful, are physically demanding and expensive.

In vitro fertilization is a safe and effective treatment for infertility, particularly when tied to a single embryo transfer policy. This ensures that one healthy baby is delivered per pregnancy cycle, with the best results for mother and baby.

The average cost for in vitro fertilization treatments is between $5800-$8000, not including the additional several thousand dollars for required medication. The cost of these treatments lead many families to choose transferring multiple-embryos in the hope of increasing their chance of becoming pregnant. As a result, BC has a multiple birth rate of about 31% compared to rates between 5 – 10% in other jurisdictions which tie public funding to the practice of single embryo transfer.

Being pregnant with twins or triplets creates significant health risks to mother and baby, not only during pregnancy and birth but often for the rest of the child's life.

To date, governments in British Columbia have been unwilling to fund necessary treatments for infertility. Publicly funding in vitro fertilization treatment gives all British Columbians, regardless of income or geography, the opportunity to access safe family building treatments affordably, in a way that responsibly utilizes the health system and contributes to its sustainability.

Did you know?

Over the first five years, publicly funding in vitro fertilization in British Columbia would result in a net savings of $78 million.

Infertility treatments are funded in many other provinces and countries. Because the province does not cover the cost of in vitro fertilization, the government is spending millions of dollars every year dealing with the consequences of multiple births.

In Canada, Quebec has taken the lead by publicly funding in vitro fertilization treatments. Since 2010, the provincial government has been fully funding three in vitro fertilization cycles, including all of the required pharmaceuticals.

In 2011, after just one year of publicly funding in vitro fertilization, the Quebec government reported that the number of multiple births from assisted reproductive technologies in that province dropped markedly from roughly 28 per cent to approximately 5 per cent. Earlier this year, the former Quebec Health Minister who introduced the Quebec policy publicly estimated that the province was saving between $30 million and $60 million annually as a result of the reduction in multiple births.

In British Columbia, publicly funding in vitro fertilization would result in a net savings of $78 million in the first five years, and our multiple birth rate would sharply decline to less than 10%.

British Columbia is home to Canada's first in vitro fertilization baby. Today, we have an opportunity to be leaders once again by advancing our public policies related to in vitro fertilization, to assist those suffering with infertility and help them build healthy families for our future.