We are passionate patient advocates, having experienced infertility and the financial hardship of IVF treatment. We were shocked at the lack of support for our medical condition and think BC can do better. Strong families help build strong communities, a thriving economy and a more secure future for the next generations.
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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 recognized by the World Health Organization as a disease that affects both men and women. IVF treatments, although often successful, are physically demanding and expensive and are located only in major urban centers in BC.
IVF is a safe and highly 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 a single round of in IVF is $10,000 not including the costs of medications, taking time off work, and the time and cost to travel for treatment.
IVF works and every person who can benefit from it should be able to access it, not just those with money.
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.