East Coast Miracles applauds the Ontario Government for funding IVF

Infertile patients in Nova Scotia call on their government to reduce the financial barrier to treatment

HALIFAX, Oct. 1, 2015 /CNW/ - East Coast Miracles, Atlantic Canada's patient advocacy group would like to congratulate the Province of Ontario for funding one cycle of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Ontario's decision to fund this very important treatment option for individuals having difficulty conceiving removes the financial barriers that stop so many couples from achieving their dream of a family.

One in six Canadians struggle with infertility. Ontario will now join New Brunswick, Quebec and Manitoba in supporting patients who need in vitro fertilization. Numerous studies have proven that a funding policy tied to single embryo transfer is successful in ensuring better health outcomes for mums and babies and will save the healthcare system millions of dollars.

East Coast Miracles, a group which represents infertile patients in Nova Scotia, calls upon their own government to take a leadership position by recognizing infertility as a medical condition and funding it appropriately.

An IVF treatment cycle in the province of Nova Scotia costs approximately $7000 (not including medications). This means that many families choose to transfer more than one embryo which often leads to multiple births. These babies (twins, triplets or higher order) are 17 times more likely to be born pre-term, to require a Caesarean section and to need expensive care at birth and throughout their lives. Multiple births create significant health risks to mother and baby and are a major burden on the overall health system.

"Ensuring that funding for IVF is tied to single embryo transfer will reduce the chance of multiple births and lead to better health outcomes for both mothers and babies," says Dr. Linda Hamilton, Medical Director of Atlantic Assisted Reproductive Therapies in Halifax, Nova Scotia. "Ontario projects that this program will result in overall cost savings for the Province. More importantly this policy ensures that all patients, regardless of income, can access the medical treatment they need to start a family."

A recent cost benefit analysis commissioned by East Coast Miracles found that the Province of Nova Scotia would save $11 million in the first five years by introducing a program similar to Ontario's. Over 72% of Nova Scotians agree with publicly funding IVF when it results in cost savings.

An East Coast Miracle member, Emily Robertson, commented; "We are greatly encouraged by Ontario's decision to fund IVF. Infertility is a modern medical condition for which a modern treatment exists. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of IVF, most patients are unable to afford this treatment. By covering the cost of one cycle of IVF, Ontario has taken a huge step toward bringing these individuals closer to fulfilling their dream of becoming parents. It is our hope that the government of Nova Scotia will take a closer look at the benefits of funding fertility treatments in this province and recognize that it is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do."

SOURCE East Coast Miracles

For further information: Janet Fraser, (902) 404-8605 or cell (902) 471-1335, janet.fraser@aart.ca; Emily Robertson, (902) 880-8810, emilymjm@hotmail.com

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