Family Day - A Difficult Reminder for Some

CALGARY, Feb. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - For most Albertans, Family Day is a welcome holiday to recognize and celebrate the core strength of Alberta – its families. For others, it's a painful reminder of the challenge they face trying to conceive their own family.

"When you're trying to conceive, the painful reminders of what you can't have - a child of your own - are everywhere," says Terri Abraham, President of Generations of Hope Fertility Assistance Fund. "That dream is even further out of reach for many when they realize the costs associated with fertility treatment."

One in six Alberta couples will face infertility, a recognized medical condition. While there are highly successful medical treatments available many Albertans cannot access treatment because of financial barriers. One cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF) can cost up to $10,000 - $13,000 (inclusive of drugs).

An Alberta group called Generations of Hope was created in 2005 to help those Albertans who need some financial assistance to access the treatment they need. "The goal of the Generations of Hope Fertility Assistance Fund is to put the hope for a child within reach for as many Albertans as possible ultimately protecting our great province and its next generation," explains Abraham.

Generations of Hope continues to advocate for public funding of IVF tied to single embryo transfer, thereby reducing the rate of multiple births born through IVF. Multiple births are more costly to our healthcare system. In fact a 2013 report commissioned by the Alberta Government and conducted by the University of Alberta's School of Public Policy shows cost savings to our healthcare system of up to $97 million if IVF, tied to single embryo transfer, were publicly funded. If wider societal costs are taken into account, the actual savings realized to the province would be up to $179 million.

Terri Abraham comments, "We recognize the current fiscal constraints this Government faces, and we will continue to support our Government in its efforts to find a sustainable, equitable public program to provide some financial assistance to Albertans suffering from infertility."

The Generations of Hope Fertility Assistance Fund has given over $1 million in grants helping over 100 Albertans create their family. To date, 128 Alberta babies have been born, with 21 on the way, because of the fund's assistance.

On March 7 Generations of Hope will host the Images of Hope gala to celebrate 10 years of helping Albertans build their families. For more information, or to donate to Generations of Hope, visit www.generationsofhope.ca.

Notes to Editors:

  • Due to the personal cost involved in accessing treatment for infertility many couples choose to transfer multiple embryos during IVF, often leading to multiple births. Multiple births come with greater complications that can result in higher costs to Alberta's healthcare and social system.
  • Other Provinces have already taken steps to support residents suffering from infertility.
    • Quebec has provided public funding for IVF since 2010
    • Manitoba provides a tax credit covering up to 40 percent of the costs associated with infertility treatment.
    • Ontario committed $50 million per year to funding one treatment cycle of IVF in order to improve access to IVF for thousands of Ontarians living with infertility.
    • New Brunswick implemented a one-time $5000 rebate in 2014 for residents going through infertility treatment.
  • Many countries around the world, including: Norway, Sweden, Finland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand; recognize the cost savings and health advantages of publicly funding a single embryo transfer.
  • Seventy six percent of Albertans support public funding of infertility treatments, and for good reason: on top of savings to our healthcare system, it will ensure better health outcomes for mothers and babies.
  • Over 26,000 Albertans have signed a petition in support of public funding of infertility treatments.

SOURCE Generations of Hope

Image with caption: "Generations of Hope (CNW Group/Generations of Hope)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150212_C5779_PHOTO_EN_12091.jpg

For further information: Dr. Cal Greene, Director of the Regional Fertility Program, 403.284.9103, Cal.Greene@albertahealthservices.ca; Terri Abraham, President of Generations of Hope, 403.470.7151, terri.abraham@shaw.ca

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www.generationsofhope.ca

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