75% of Ontarians support OHIP funding of IVF similar to Quebec - New Survey

Support high among all Ontarians regardless of who they plan to vote for in this election

TORONTO, Sept. 29, 2011 /CNW/ - A new survey shows a strong majority of Ontarians, regardless of their voting intention, support OHIP coverage of in-vitro fertilization (IVF).  Despite this Conceivable Dreams continues to look to all Ontario political parties to commit to this should they form the next government.

"We're disappointed that no party has acknowledged the support of Ontarians towards funding IVF" says Joanne Horibe of Conceivable Dreams, a grassroots patient organization representing thousands of infertile couples across Ontario. "It's a missed opportunity that would improve health outcomes and reduce costs.

The survey, conducted by Leger Marketing found:

  • Three-quarters of Ontarians (75% of those polled), 25 years and older support a policy of funding IVF similar to Quebec's.
    • 83% of those planning to vote NDP, 80% of those planning to vote Liberal, and 73% of those planning to vote PC -- all significant majorities -- support adopting a policy of funding IVF similar to Québec's
  • 60% of Ontarians, 25+ agree that the government should cover in-vitro fertilization in some way
  • 57% agree that if the cost of in-vitro fertilization was covered, it would result in fewer multiple births through IVF and reduce costs to the healthcare system

In Ontario, where the cost of IVF is not covered by OHIP, most couples choose to transfer multiple embryos rather than a single embryo. As a result, the rate of multiple births from IVF in Ontario is roughly 28% compared to below 10% in other jurisdictions.  Multiples are 17 times more likely to be born pre-term, to require a caesarean delivery and to need expensive care at birth and throughout their lives.

In 2009, the Expert Panel on Infertility and Adoption recommended that the province of Ontario fund up to 3 cycles of in-vitro fertilization and adopt policies that reduce the number of multiple pregnancies through IVF. The panel estimated that the savings to the healthcare system through a reduction in the number of multiple births through IVF would be between $400 million and $550 million.

In August 2010, Québec became the first jurisdiction in Canada to publicly fund comprehensive IVF treatments. One year later, it has become a leader in the reduction of multiple pregnancies by bringing the rate down from 27.2% to 5.2%.

"With one of the highest rates of multiple births through IVF in the country and a need to control healthcare costs, Ontario simply cannot ignore this issue any longer," added Horibe. "What has worked in Québec can work in Ontario. Providing OHIP funding for IVF would reduce our rate of multiples through IVF and generate cost savings that could be reinvested in other healthcare services that are important to Ontarians.

Conceivable Dreams is seeking a commitment from all three political parties to provide OHIP coverage of IVF.  Its members across Ontario will continue to ask candidates where they stand on this issue and will support the candidates and parties that support OHIP funding for IVF.

About Conceivable Dreams
Conceivable Dreams, the OHIP for IVF Coalition is the provincial voice for thousands of infertility sufferers and their supporters across Ontario.  Our goal is to have OHIP coverage of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) reinstated by the Ontario government.  For more information, please visit:  www.conceivabledreams.org

About Leger Marketing
The survey was completed from September 19th, to Wednesday, September 21st, 2011, using Leger Marketing's online panel, LegerWeb.

Leger Marketing is the leading Canadian owned market research and polling firm with more than 600 professionals working from its Canadian and American offices.

SOURCE Conceivable Dreams

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For more information or to speak with a member of Conceivable Dreams, please contact:

Lauren Bondar

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Conceivable Dreams

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