The infertility awareness group calls for funding for Ontario couples trying to conceive - Patients and experts ask for implementation of Ontario government advisory body recommendation to fund in-vitro fertilization



    TORONTO, Oct. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - The Infertility Awareness Association of
Canada (IAAC) is calling upon all Ontario political parties to support the
thousands of Ontario couples who have been unable to conceive naturally. Many
cannot access one of the most effective methods of conception, in-vitro
fertilization (IVF) purely on the basis of financial reasons. That's because
IVF was delisted as a general Ontario health benefit in 1994.
    As a result, many couples resort to less effective and higher risk
methods which have a significant risk of multiple pregnancies, low-weight
pre-term babies and infant deaths. In other cases, women are undergoing
repeated surgical procedures (OHIP funded) with very low success rates, again
because they cannot afford the costs associated with IVF. Still others, resign
themselves to living without children. Canada's (and Ontario's) record is
shameful when compared to other countries where IVF is available as a publicly
funded health service. Quebec currently provides a 30% refundable tax credit
for IVF treatment including necessary medications.
    A study by IAAC demonstrated that a fully funded program of IVF with
increased use of single embryo transfer was not only the safest but also the
most cost-saving strategy over the long term because it avoided the costs of
multiple-pregnancy pre-term infant hospitalization, post-natal and long-term
disability.
    In October 2006, the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee
(OHTAC), an arm's length expert advisory committee to the Ontario health care
system and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, recommended
expanding OHIP coverage for IVF. The recommendations to date have not been
implemented.
    According to infertility expert, Dr. Ellen Greenblatt, Director of the
Mount Sinai Hospital Infertility and IVF Programmes, "it is essential for the
Ontario government to move forward with funding for IVF and other family
building options. Families trying to conceive have the right to in-vitro
fertilization as the safest and most effective option."
    IAAC supports and applauds the Liberal commitment to "create an expert
panel to examine all issues related to fertility treatment". IAAC urges all
parties to commit to a speedy implementation of the OHTAC recommendations, as
a minimum starting point toward a comprehensive family creation strategy for
Ontario couples struggling with infertility.

    About Infertility Awareness Association of Canada

    The Infertility Awareness Association of Canada (IAAC) is a registered
charitable organization committed to providing educational material, support
and assistance to individuals and couples experiencing the anguish of
infertility which affects over half a million Canadian men and women. The
World Health Organization (WHO) has long recognized infertility as a disease.
For more information, please visit www.iaac.ca




For further information:

For further information: Beverly Hanck, Executive Director, Infertility
Awareness Association of Canada, 1-800-263-2929

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Infertility Awareness Association of Canada

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