MONTREAL, June 27, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - In an official response to recent
media coverage of Quebec's Assisted Reproduction Program, the
Infertility Awareness Association of Canada says important issues
concerning the program were omitted. On June 18, the Montreal daily La Presse published an article announcing that the program, which has been
funding and regulating fertility treatments since August 5, 2010, will
cost more than expected. When new fertility centres in hospitals are in
the planning phase, it is to be expected that requests for funds will
follow. IAAC believes the matter of the considerable savings realized
by the implementation of a single embryo transfer policy (tied to the
program) should have been addressed, as well.
Pediatrician Dr. Annie Janvier, a neonatologist and specialist in
clinical ethics at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Sainte-Justine
Hospital, in Montreal, and Associate Professor at the Department of
Pediatrics at the University of Montreal, shares IAAC's concern.
"It is clear that the financial and emotional costs associated with in
vitro fertilization have been reduced," Dr. Janvier states. "Before the
program, 30% of IVF pregnancies were multiple pregnancies (twins and
triplets) because several embryos were transferred. Multiple
pregnancies are expensive, as they increase pregnancy-related risks
(diabetes, high blood pressure, caesarean delivery, blood transfusion).
Moreover, 90% of triplets and 60% of twins are born prematurely and
require expensive neonatal intensive care. Before Quebec's new program,
about 20% of IVF babies were premature and admitted to intensive care
units. Premature babies are also more at risk of long-term medical
problems, the financial (and emotional) costs of which may well last
throughout a child's lifetime.
"Since the implementation of our program, which is in reality a public
health program, only 7% of IVF-related births are multiple births. This
diminishes complications for mothers and children, and means fewer IVF
babies requiring intensive care. Furthermore, before the introduction
of this program the Quebec government funded many operations, namely
surgeries to defective fallopian tubes, which are less effective than
IVF and more likely to be followed by complications. Such operations
have now become much less frequent.
"One must consider what a healthy child will contribute to Quebec's
economy, where today an aging population has both economists and
politicians very concerned. The generation of children born today is
crucial to the future prosperity of this country."
Dr. Janvier adds: "The public needs and deserves to hear the full story
in order to formulate an informed opinion of the current program. One
important aspect which is sometimes lost is the current debate is the
fact that transferring a single embryo reduces IVF health complications
for mothers and babies. Regulating IVF without funding the procedure
would only incite couples to seek IVF elsewhere, then return to Quebec
to deliver their twins and triplets, which greatly increases costs to
our health system. Quebec can be proud of investing in prevention to
maximize the chances of producing healthy children."
IAAC hopes that future media reporting presents a balanced view of
Quebec's newly established IVF program, and IAAC underlines its
availability to provide detailed information regarding any particular
aspect of media interest.
SOURCE Infertility Awareness Association of Canada
For further information:
Beverly Hanck, Executive Director
Infertility Awareness Association of Canada
2160 Nightingale Avenue
Montreal, Quebec H9S 1E4
Tel. 514-484-2891 Toll Free: 800-263-2929