Publicly funded in-vitro

[deleted account] ( 72 moms have responded )

Quebec Health Minister Yves Bolduc says the province is going ahead with a plan to fully fund in vitro fertility treatments for women.

The province will fund up to three cycles of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments by the end of the spring, Bolduc said Thursday during a news conference in Montreal.

Bolduc said he is happy to be able to give this gift to couples trying to conceive, but he said it will also save the province up to $30 million a year on money being spent to treat premature babies born as a result of fertility treatments.

The plan will include regulations limiting to three the number of embryos that can be implanted in a woman’s womb during one cycle of treatment — a move that will help reduce the number of multiple births, said Bolduc.

The program will cost $32 million its first year, but funding will increase to $80 million in the next three to four years, Bolduc said.

Currently, about 2,000 cycles are performed in the province on an annual basis at a cost of roughly $10,000 per treatment.

With the new program, the number of cycles being performed could jump to 10,000, according to government estimates.

The regulations are expected to be published soon in the province’s Official Gazette and will go into effect following a 45-day consultation period.

The move follows through on a promise made by Premier Jean Charest during the 2008 provincial election campaign.

Currently, Quebec offers a 50 per cent tax credit for IVF treatments.
Costly treatment

The news was welcomed by Quebecer Michael Kriaa.

Kriaa and his girlfriend have already spent $23,000 trying to conceive through insemination and in vitro treatments — without any luck.

Now that the government will foot the bill for some treatments, he said it may actually improve their chance of success.

"The more the stress factor is up — it's actually proven that's it's worse for conceiving," he said. "So, the fact that the stress factor for the money is going to be taken [by] the government is actually very, very good news."

Bolduc made the announcement at the McGill University Health Centre Reproductive Centre at the Royal Victoria Hospital, which currently performs about half of the IVF treatments in the province.

He also announced an investment of $2 million to update and renovate the facility.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/03/1...



Ok, so Qc is going to fund IVF and other fertilization treatments through the public health care system while people are dying in crowded hospital hallways and waiting 6-8 hours to be seen in the emergency room. I can't believe they would use so much public funds and tax-payer dollars to fund fertility treatments which are not saving lives while so many people are dying and on waiting lists for organ transplants and other life saving surgeries... I am not against IVF and I can understand the need for some couples to use fertility treatments but I can't understand why the government would think that funding IVFs is more of a priority than reducing wait times in the ER and reducing wait time for important surgeries...

What are your thoughts?

FIY. I am not starting this topic to hear bashing of Quebecers or French Canadians. this has nothing to do with language or culture. It's about healthcare.

What are your thoughts on this?

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Mary - posted on 07/16/2010

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I'll just start out by saying that unless you have lived through primary infertility, chances are it is really easy for you to dismiss the devastating impact that it can have on not only your relationship with your partner, but on your entire life. Unless you have lived through this, I'm sure it is pretty easy to be rather cavalier about denying less affluent couple the chance to have a child of their own. I don't fault your logic, exactly...it's really hard to comprehend when you have not experienced it personally, and most of these responses exemplify a lot of the attitudes I myself got from others when I went through this. People *say* they feel badly for you, and *think* they are empathetic...but you know, when they start talking about adoption, God's will, fate, or whatever other well-meaning but ridiculously insensitive crap, they haven't got a fucking clue.

As for some of the restrictions, or qualifiers for IVF...that's a bit of a sticky moral slope, IMO. Many couples with infertility are "unexplained". It's not always as simple as low sperm counts or tubal anomalies or a luteal phase defect. A three year waiting period?? That's just idiotic. Making a 32 y/o woman wait until she has been trying 3 years puts her at 35...fertility decreases with age, so now you've decreased her chances of success even more, AND placed her in the Advance Maternal Age category if she does get pregnant. Brilliant idea, just brilliant!. Most responsible and ethical reproductive endocrinologists would not suggest intitiating IVF on a woman under 32 until she has been trying for a year, unless there is a known impediment to conception. I think that's a fairly reasonable practice that does not need to be changed.

As for the suggestion that these people "just adopt"...Really, you all should just be smacked for saying it, but I know that the comment comes from a place of ignorance and an inability to empathize. First of all, adoption is NOT easy, nor is it cheap. I have 2 friends that have adopted, and in each case, there out-of-pocket expenses ran between 15-20 thousand dollars. Now, both of these friends did adopt overseas...but they did that after being unsuccessful in trying to adopt here in the US. I have another friend who is currently trying a domestic adoption...twice, in the past 6 months they have thought they had a child...and twice, the birth parent(s) have changed their mind. It's really not as if there are scores of unfettered kids waiting for good homes...there are tons of kids in the "system" but they are not necessarily free to be adopted, but merely fostered. It really isn't quite as easy as people think.

Mary - posted on 07/18/2010

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Soooo...if tax (or in my case, insurance) dollars should be doled out on "more essential" health care needs, exactly how do you determine these more "worthy" expenses? Is their some infalliable ethics and morals committee? As I said, there are MANY examples within health care that could fall into this category. I've already mentioned breast resonstruction, but I can come up with many more examples....a prosthesis for an amputee is one. The are almost prohibitively expensive, but are not necessary to live (people can just use a regular old wheel chair, after all). Another example - cleft lip/palate repairs. Unless they are severe enough to prevent nutritional intake, they are not life-threatening. Perhaps we should also add rectal-vaginal fistualas (usually a result of childbirth, where feces comes through the vagina). Again, they are difficult and embarrassing to live with, but you can live with it. If pushed, I can come up with even more examples of treatments/surgeries that could easily be classified as "less essential" , and are costly "burdens" to an overwhelmed system.

(I want to add that I personally am NOT in favor of categorizing ANY of these as elective/ self-pay.)

And, as someone who did struggle with infertility, I feel comfortable saying that anyone who claims to "feel" for someone who is unable to conceive, and yet also thinks treatment for this condition should only be available to those who pay for it's steep price is full of crap. Perhaps you pity them, but never delude yourself into thinking you posess an ounce of compassion or empathy as either a woman or mother.

LaCi - posted on 07/16/2010

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If something like this were going on in the states, I'd be annoyed. I'd rather see a change in the adoption system to allow for more people to adopt rather than the healthcare system paying for people to continue breeding while the government is supporting orphans who desperately need these stable, loving families.

LaCi - posted on 07/22/2010

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"And Laci - LMFAO!!!! you're utterly deluded if you think that as your child gets older it won't cost you any more money. I guess your child will sit on his ass watching free public tv only with no games, no bike, no ipod, no internet, no handheld games, no cell phone, no sports, no music, no extra curricular activities at all? nice life - why bother? I guess you won't take any extravagant vacations to theme parks either? No disneyland, no water parks, hell, no camping. We just priced our local lake it will cost $75 for 3 nights TO CAMP, lmao. never mind camping food, boat fees, watersocks for wading....



I guess your kid will be the only kid in the world to NOT go through an unexpected growth spurt. You're always going to know and have clothes on hand.



Why have a nice outfit for school pictures? You can wear a t-shirt and shorts."



Why are you under the impression that I WON'T be spending money on my son? I said it costs as much as you allow it to cost, I NEVER said how much I would allow my son to cost. I ONLY pointed out that it's insulting to parents who CAN provide a good life for a child at the moment that if they can't dish out a 50 grand to CONCEIVE a child they can't afford to raise it. $50,000 in one freakin' swoop vs a hundred (Even TWO hundred) thousand over 18 years- NOT the same thing. It's WAY too expensive to get IVF, and THAT was the issue. My son? the private school I have in mind is roughly 20k per year. I never once claimed that I wouldn't be spending money on my son, only that you don't HAVE to. It's ridiculous to say you have to have 25%-of the ridiculous amount listed-up front to have a child. This is not a down payment on a car.



Raise your hand if you had 50k lying around that you would be willing to set on fire when you got knocked up.





The cost of heart disease over a lifetime is almost $5 million, but I guess if you had the money to eat all that and get fat, clog your arteries, etc, you can afford to pay it. It's much cheaper to eat pinto beans and frozen vegetables.



And this isn't off topic, it's completely related because apparently you need 7 years of the cost of having a child up front as a down payment before you should ever begin breeding.

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[deleted account]

Ok, I enjoyed reading through all your posts here and I am happy that this is getting so much responses.

However, the debate here is about publicly funded IVF not the amount of money needed to raise a child.

I will have to lock the thread if we don't come back to the subject at hand. Thanks

Sharon - posted on 07/22/2010

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Sorry - its wrong. If you can't afford the treatments - you can't afford the child.

I was the woman sunk into depression because I was told I couldn't have kids. I looked at every option and in the end decided to go with adoption because I'd be doing something good for the world, something good for an individual child, something good for me and because it was cheaper.

But I love Cathy S. guidelines. THOSE make sense!! dear god is there such a thing? A government program that makes sense?? COOL!

I took a pause here and read through some of the posts.

I agree with Mary too. Not being able conceive put an end to several relationships. I looked at it differently though... if they weren't open to other options like adoptions how could they be open to other forms of discipline than their own, methods of raising a child, options for a stay at home mom or working mom.

If those men hadn't been removed from my life - I wouldn't have the three kids I have now. I was told when I was young that I wouldn't have kids - maybe that makes the difference. I had acceptance at an age when it just didn't mean that much to me at a point where it just didn't mean that much to me in the face of also hearing "you may never walk again". There was a quirk to my lips and raised eyebrow on my face as I remembered that.

Later, when I was older and I began to realise the implications of this mechanical sterility - I was floored. I was hospitalised for depression. I was completely unable to function. I couldn't get my brain to move past the "this has ruined your life." of course it hadn't, there was so much more I could do and other options I hadn't even pursued yet or looked into much.

Still - I wonder if women should get mental health counseling instead of fertility treatments.

And Laci - LMFAO!!!! you're utterly deluded if you think that as your child gets older it won't cost you any more money. I guess your child will sit on his ass watching free public tv only with no games, no bike, no ipod, no internet, no handheld games, no cell phone, no sports, no music, no extra curricular activities at all? nice life - why bother? I guess you won't take any extravagant vacations to theme parks either? No disneyland, no water parks, hell, no camping. We just priced our local lake it will cost $75 for 3 nights TO CAMP, lmao. never mind camping food, boat fees, watersocks for wading....

I guess your kid will be the only kid in the world to NOT go through an unexpected growth spurt. You're always going to know and have clothes on hand.

Why have a nice outfit for school pictures? You can wear a t-shirt and shorts.

My son got a guitar and amp and lessons - guitar and amp $1000. Lessons $20 a week for a year. As a jumpstart for his highschool career and college, he was enrolled at the University of Arizona for a computer course. he took skateboarding lessons to learn particular tricks - $100 in safety gear, $$ for the lessons, $$ for the gas to drive him.

We paid for a summer pass to the local YMCA so he'd have something to do while at his grandmothers instead of just sitting on his ass watching tv.

We tend to go the pricey road when buying things - you get what you pay for. Its not always necessary to buy the expensive but in some areas I don't compromise. I didn't buy cheap car seats, cheap cribs/bassinets etc.

Good luck with your theory - but every mom with a kid older than 7 years here, knows you're in for a shock.

LaCi - posted on 07/22/2010

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"Also in regards to teenagers they cost you way more than kids under five whether you want them to or not. Theres little things like school uniforms, clothes, shoes, after school activites, pocket money, thats just off the top of my head i could come up with a hundred other things if i thought about it. I know small children need clothes and shoes too but they dont wear them out so quick and they arent so fussy about what they wear either."

School uniforms are extremely cheap here. I don't see school activities costing much, as I don't remember having to pay for anything in high school/middle school except book rentals and summer music conferences. Being picky about what they wear is again, a choice. They can buy their own clothes. Pocket money is a choice, they can get a job. To say you HONESTLY think it takes 200 grand to raise a child, over 10 grand a year, what about entire families that make 20k-30k per year? they still manage to survive. I don't buy it. And that, if it's a family of three, if I'm not mistaken is above the legally recognized poverty level and they would not receive benefits.

It's insulting to say that if someone wants to have a child they should have to pay that much money because children are "expensive" as though it's some sort of financial examination. The rest of us didn't have to put our money up to show we could have children.

I somewhat disagree with public funding for IVF, but by no means will I defend the price of IVF based on how much I may or may not have had to spend on my children. Thats ridiculous. Thats a substantial amount that could have been in the kids college fund or whatever else you feel the need to shove it in.

[deleted account]

My point is if they want IVF bad enough they will get that money through working harder etc. I dont see why anyone else should foot the bill for it. I have three kids number four on the way, i pay for them, i wouldnt have any of them if i couldnt afford to pay for them. If they need something we work harder to pay for it etc.

Also in regards to teenagers they cost you way more than kids under five whether you want them to or not. Theres little things like school uniforms, clothes, shoes, after school activites, pocket money, thats just off the top of my head i could come up with a hundred other things if i thought about it. I know small children need clothes and shoes too but they dont wear them out so quick and they arent so fussy about what they wear either.

Isobel - posted on 07/21/2010

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I suppose you are right, but if I didn't have kids I would live in a one bedroom apartment, I wouldn't have a 3 bedroom home; while I don't pay daycare, if I didn't have kids I would be working full-time (by accounting standards this is called an opportunity cost and MUST be included); my seven-year-old eats as much as I do...I can't even wait till he's a teenager ugh. I do feel that it is a parent's responsibility to pay for school if they can.

But that's just me.

LaCi - posted on 07/21/2010

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Susanne, remember when I said they cost as much as you allow them to? Same applies in the teenage years.

Mary - posted on 07/21/2010

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Susanne, no one is saying that kids don't cost money, however, the figure you mentioned is an average, that is spread out over 18 years. You don't need to come up with that amount in one lump sum on the day they are born. A couple that needs IVF to conceive, however, does need to come up with a large amount of money at one time just for the chance for a child, in addition to that large amount of money over the next 18 years of that hypothetical child's life. That's why your suggestion that a couple that cannot afford IVF therefore cannot afford to raise a child is just without merit.

Aliska - posted on 07/20/2010

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I personally don’t believe in IVF. It is publically funded in Australia.

Some of the concerns I have with it are:

1. If there is a genetic basis to some forms of infertility we are weakening the gene pool by allowing people, who nature never intended to reproduce, to have children as their children could ‘inherit’ their infertility thus increasing the percentage of infertile people in the population and increasing the dependence on IVF, and similar technologies, to reproduce.

2. As IVF is such a money-spinner for universities and hospitals there seems to be little motivation to investigate the causes of infertility. There seems to be so many otherwise healthy young couples with ‘unexplained’ infertility turning to IVF or other fertility treatments. From a scientific perspective why isn’t anyone curious about the causes of unexplained infertility? If someone is young, in reasonable health and hasn’t suffered any obvious illness or injury surely their body should be able to do what it is designed to do and if not, surely doctors and scientists should want to find out why. Offering IVF to these people is just a band-aid solution and while all the research dollars seem to be directed towards perfecting IVF we don’t seem to be getting any closer to solving the real problem as to why these couples need IVF in the first place. Surely medical funding would be better spent identifying causes of infertility and ways of avoiding or correcting these rather than plastering over the cracks with IVF?

[deleted account]

@ Janessa, Maybe for you it was an easy choice to adopt in the event you weren't able to get pregnant but it's not always that simple. I still don't think my tax dollars should go to IVF because this money could be used to improve our health care system and reduce waiting lists for treatment of life threatening conditions.

However, like some other moms mentioned earlier, adoption is not always the best choice for every family. I definitely think adoption should be made easier and that the "system" should be revamped to help kids who need a family. I just don't think that people for whom adoption is not an option should automatically be labeled as greedy. Should parents who can conceive on their own also be labeled as greedy because they choose to get pregnant instead of adopting? Adoption is a very noble gesture but is not the right choice for all couples and we have to keep that in mind before we insult couples who choose to go with IVF.

"I agree with many posts above to make adoption easier as in the birth parents have 9 months sinced the baby is in the womb to decied if they want to keep their baby but after the baby is born they have no right to the baby it would save allot of heart breaks."

I completely disagree. If a mother decides she wants to step-up to the plate and raise her child once she has given birth, then more power to her. It can be hard for the couple who is waiting to adopt this baby but i think parents should not be denied the right to change their minds when they meet their child. Your whole life changes when you meet your child for the first time and i think that children belong with their parents unless the parents aren't fit or chose to put their child up for adoption (for whatever reason).

Janessa - posted on 07/20/2010

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omg peoples tax dollars are going to do pay for something like that i am pissed. Why should everyone has to support people who cannot have kids and pay for ivf those people are greedy period. The money could have been used for hospitals, doctors, school ect. I am adopted and i am glad my parents adopted my siblings and I. I am 21 years of age I have a one year old son it is not like i wanted a baby this young but it happened. As a child i always wanted kids but not this early and i already decieded if i could not have kids i would adopted because there are so many kids like my self waiting for a loving family we just want a chance at a good life. I agree with many posts above to make adoption easier as in the birth parents have 9 months sinced the baby is in the womb to decied if they want to keep their baby but after the baby is born they have no right to the baby it would save allot of heart breaks. Maybe people should pay social services a little more so more people would want to become workers in that field so they would be more people during paper works. The governemnt should help families that are adopting with the expenses.





Sinced someone brought abortion. I found this very weird people who do not believe in abortion believe in ivf majority of the time those people are christians. My question is you people say God is against abortion so that means God would also be agints ivf because having children would be in God hands and if he does not want you to have kids then you are going against his will are you not?

LaCi - posted on 07/20/2010

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"that's averaged out over a lifetime...you have to include the college years (assuming they go away), plus the extra money you spend on rent (or mortgage) for space that you wouldn't need if you were single, then add food, lessons, clothes, insurance if you are American (dental and medical, just dental and optical here in Canada), daycare if you work, etc..."



My house is small, I wouldn't have chosen a smaller house just because I didn't have a child, actually I'd still like a larger house, children or not, so I really don't factor that into the equation, he has one room which would be an office or gym, or both, had he not popped out.



Food, after formula, isn't expensive, we basically give him a chunk of our food.



Clothes are not expensive unless you choose to buy expensive clothing. I haven't even bothered buying new clothes this year. I probably won't need to until he's 5 lol. I stockpile on end of season clearance.



Even if you add an emergency room visit for stitches, twice, I don't see my son costing 10 grand in a year. I don't do daycare, but I know there are tax credits to help with covering daycare costs in the US, not sure what those add up to. I leave him with family during my school days, but the school does have free daycare. When I graduate I'll be working in a hospital which offers daycare.



So I agree with Ashie, raising a child costs as much as you choose to let it cost. I think it also depend son where you are, cost of living where I am is VERY low, our wages also reflect that, but houses and such are extremely cheap compared to the rest of the states.



You also don't HAVE to pay for the kid through college, that's a choice parents make. I plan on preparing to do so and keeping my fingers crossed he gets a scholarship because saving for that and paying for private school (which will hopefully offer tuition assistance) will nearly bankrupt us. When he's old enough to work he will be working and I will charge him rent which will go directly into his college savings, he's gotta foot some of the bill.

[deleted account]

Were mothers who have wonderful children say that to a women whos only chance is this free ivf to become a mother and experience what we do each and everyday..i say its wonderful and i agree raising a child is AS expensive as YOU make it.

IVF is also giving for free in England so many goes,not 100% sure about it so i cant say much,why cant women who only dream of being a mom get the chance,many women who can afford it try so many times to get there and these women only have one or two chances and many dont succeed sadly.Put yourself in the shoes of one of those women and say different.

[deleted account]

Thats not my figures that some research done by some intelligent people with too much time on their hands lol. I shouldnt have to pay for other people to bring kids into the world anymore than i expect other people to feed and clothe my kids. And if they cant afford IVF then they should deal with it and move on with life, do what i did when we were struggling for a baby buy a puppy. When i gave up trying it happened naturally anyway most of the time its the stress that messes everything up anyway.

Isobel - posted on 07/20/2010

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for me to put my kids in full time daycare before they started school cost me $3000 per month /:I

Isobel - posted on 07/20/2010

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that's averaged out over a lifetime...you have to include the college years (assuming they go away), plus the extra money you spend on rent (or mortgage) for space that you wouldn't need if you were single, then add food, lessons, clothes, insurance if you are American (dental and medical, just dental and optical here in Canada), daycare if you work, etc...

it really does all add up.

LaCi - posted on 07/19/2010

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"@ Mary well considering that they reckon a child costs £194,000 for the first 18 years if they cant afford the intial IVF costs how are they going to afford to raise a child anyway.?"



Uhm, I highly doubt my child is going to cost me $11,000 per year unless I choose to allow him to do so. It doesn't takes 11 grand to raise a child every year. And he won't come anywhere near that until I choose to send him to private school, which is my choice not a necessity.

Hannah - posted on 07/19/2010

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I don't think that anything that isn't a necessity should be covered. Unforunately getting pregnant isn't a necessity and is part of life. . I was with my ex for 5 years and we never got pregnant. I was young at the time and knew that I shouldn't have any problems. But for some reason I wasn't able to. It was devastating and I didn't know what was wrong with me or him. After we divorced I started dating my now husband and have two kids with him. I know the feeling of not thinking you are able to get pregnant but it still doesn't change the fact that it isn't a necessity to get pregnant. I also don't think that reconstructive surgery should be covered or a prosthetic. Life deals some ugly hands sometimes and if you want to change it, you should pay for it.

[deleted account]

@ Mary well considering that they reckon a child costs £194,000 for the first 18 years if they cant afford the intial IVF costs how are they going to afford to raise a child anyway.

Mary - posted on 07/19/2010

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Mylene -

My first husband and I were an "unexplained" infertility. After trying for over a year, we began the whole work-up, where nothing seemed amiss. Good sperm, an no egg issues. Actually, once we began the whole process, we discovered that I was an "over producer" when stimulated. It wasn't until the first IVF cycle that they discovered something amiss...when they put the eggs and sperm together, there was no fertilization. It required ICSI (where they inject the sperm into the egg) to get an embryo. The technology was just not there to determine if it was a deficit in either my eggs or his sperm that caused this. 4 rounds with ICSI produced at least 5 grade "A" embryos each cycle, but they never implanted. (This is why I find the NHS's policy about an identifiable sperm or tube issue to qualify objectionable - without IVF, we never would have known what the issue was). At the time, m RE doc suspected sperm rather than egg, but doing a round with donor sperm would have been nothing more than gamble, and at that point, adoption seemed like a better option to me. My spouse would consider neither, and we split about a year later.

I often wonder if it was just that fate had already determined that I was meant to be with current husband. While it was an exceedingly difficult and painful time, I would not be the wife or mother I am today. I may have had a baby, but it would not have been Molly. I'm not exactly glad that it happened, but in retrospect, I would go through it all again to have both her, and him, in my life.

I did do accupunture during my last 4 cycles, in conjunction with a study being done at the University of MD on the uses of alternative medicines with conventional medical treatment. Because I was such a huge egg producer, and often became hyperstimulated, I did have a tremendous amount of pain and discomfort with eash cycle. No traditional meds relieved it, but I always felt GREAT after each acupuncture session, and that pain would be gone for the remainder of the day. I beleive that they often still refer patients to try this with there IVF Cycles, and I certainly encourage anyone I know going through this to look into it.

[deleted account]

FYI. I am not starting this topic to hear bashing of Quebecers or French Canadians. this has nothing to do with language or culture. It's about healthcare.

Tara - posted on 07/19/2010

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Well first off I have to say....."only in Quebec!!" lol sorry but I had to get it in there. I'm in Ontario!

That said, I do support this move however I would also like to see better support for adoption, both nationally and internationally. But as a Canadian who is proud of our healthcare system, I feel that this is an investment in our future. Birth rates in Canada have been on the decline for years, if this will help to support our future and help families and their are guidelines in place than why not? We pay to have people "fixed" we pay to have women's breasts reduced to ease back pain, we pay for gastric by pass surgery to help people lose weight. Why not pay for people to conceive a baby?
Tara

Mary - posted on 07/19/2010

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@ Susanne - "if the couple want a baby so much they should pay for it themselves. If they cant afford it they probably couldnt afford to raise a child either"

I find this mentality flawed. In the US, the cost of one IVF cycle is $15,000 - $20,000. Let's say that it does take all 3 cycles to become pregnant. That's a minimum of $45,000.00 spent BEFORE the child is even born. Even the most frugal middle class parent doesn't typically have that amount of excess cash lying around. Could YOU have afforded your children if you had to shell out that kind of cash prior to becoming pregnant?

It's not that these couple cannot necessarily afford a to raise a child, they just don't always have the cash reserves available to try - or, if they can muster up that kind of money, they then struggle financially after that child is born. I was just damned lucky to have insurance to cover most of mine, and an inheritance to fund the rest.

You do bring up an interesting point, though....if your NHS is going to cover non-medically indicated abortions without restrictions, it seems only fair that infertility be covered as well, from a strictly moral perspective. If, however, you look at financially, then yes, covering therapeutic abortions is quite cost-effective. It's a relatively cheap procedure, and, awful as it sounds, it does decrease future costs by eliminating another citizen in need of health care. Otherwise, their "stupidity" in getting pregnant IS going to cost you as taxpayer down the line, when that child becomes another dependent within your system.

Sara - posted on 07/19/2010

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If they're going to do this, then they should help families with the cost of adoption too.

I agree, it's not something that should be funded by the gov't.

[deleted account]

I dont agree that tax payers should pay for IVF if the couple want a baby so much they should pay for it themselves. If they cant afford it they probably couldnt afford to raise a child either. I also think abortions should not be covered by the nhs except for in cases of rape or if there is a medical problem with the fetus. If someone is stupid enough to get pregnant when they dont want to let them pay for their own mistakes.

LaCi - posted on 07/18/2010

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"The program will cost $32 million its first year, increasing to $80 million in the next three to four years. But Bolduc said the program will ultimately save Quebec money, up to $30 million a year that is spent to treat premature babies born as a result of fertility treatments. The new program will limit to three the number of embryos that can be transferred into a woman's womb during one cycle of treatment. Bolduc said this will reduce the amount of multiple births, and therefore reduce the considerable costs of caring for all those teeny preemies."

That refers to the limits set on how many embryos will be implanted. http://www.parentdish.com/2010/03/18/que...

Jess - posted on 07/18/2010

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LaCi, this is the paragraph I am referring to.



"Bolduc said he is happy to be able to give this gift to couples trying to conceive, but he said it will also save the province up to $30 million a year on money being spent to treat premature babies born as a result of fertility treatments."



Interpret that as you will, but I take it to mean that IVF would be offered in place of fertility drugs.

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Wow thanks to all of you for all the wonderful posts. I'm really enjoying reading this.

Just to add to the debate, I think a lot of fertility treatments offered in conventional health care are often ineffective or risky.. Hormones, medication.etc. I worked for a chiropractor a while back who helped several women who were not able to conceive get pregnant... Sometimes our bodies are simply not accepting to get pregnant because emotionally or physically we are not ready even if we look/feel in perfect shape. Emotional factors are often in play and I strongly believe that the government should fund and promote more natural therapies that are often more effective and less risky for all kinds of ailments (chiropractic, emotional therapy, kinesiology ...) . I think that treating the cause rather then the problem would make the dollars injected in the health care system more effective and would in the long run make our health system much better! I truly believe emotions and physical ailments can be deeply related...

@Mary, I cannot even imagine what it would have been like for me not to be able to conceive and I applaud your courage. I was reading your post about getting pregnant soon after your second marriage and couldn't help but think that somehow your body/mind knew that your first marriage might not have been the ideal situation for you to conceive in. I am not judging here, I just would like to learn more about your experience as it is absolutely fascinating to me.

Mary - posted on 07/18/2010

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Cathy, your first post was unclear whether it was your suggested guidelines, or that actually exist with NHS.
Your most recent post is troubling to me in that it does make a good argument against UHC. It is one of the few times I am glad that I lived in the US during my fertility issues; my first husband's insurance did cover the 3 IUI's and 3 of our IVF's, with minimal output from us. The second 2 we did pay for out of pocket, minus the $5,000.00 in drugs (my insurance covered that, but is excluded from covering IVF because it is a Catholic hospital - a whole other discussion).

One of the most valid points in my argument that you failed to address is related to HOW health care is rationed. If you are going qualify people for IVF, then it only seems appropriate that other "non-essential" services are similarly restricted, or outright denied as well. I completely concede that I do not know enough about NHS's policies to know what things are considered elective or are done by lottery. I have to admit, it sounds like a system I would not aspire to have here in the US. I'm a bit shocked, because in most debates on the topic of universal coverage, those from countries that have it seem to sing it's praises, and deny claims that essential treatment are rationed or awarded by lotteries.

LaCi - posted on 07/18/2010

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From the original post I don't see anything about IVF replacing fertility drugs as the first step to treating fertility problems when applicable.

My disapproval probably stems from the fact that I see nothing miraculous about childbirth or pregnancy.

Mary - posted on 07/18/2010

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Laci, I am by no means against adoption. Actually, what finally dissolved my first marriage was his unwillingness to consider adoption after 3 failed IUI's and 5 IVF's. And, yes, it is "noble", but it is not the answer for many infertile couples, especially women. Many woman (including myself), really long to experience the miracle that is pregnancy and childbirth. When you are unable to conceive, when your body fails to achieve that function that is the biggest, and most valued distinction between women and men...it is a tremendous blow to your sense of self-worth, esteem, and identity. For many of us, it is both a physical and emotional ache. It also isolates you from that commeradie of woman who have experienced this wonder of life. Perhaps this was something that held no value or importance to you, but is and was important to the vast majority of woman around the world. Yes, there are hardships and failures in life that we all must learn to accept and overcome, but is damned hard to let go of this dream when you know that hope exists in the form of reproductive endocrinology, only you do not have the exhorbitant fees required to pursue that last venue of hope.

I was lucky - I remarried, and spontaneously conceived my daughter, without conscious effort, at 37. I had moved on, and made my peace with being childless. My pregnancy, and her birth, really are a miracle to me, and my deepest dream come true. I can look back now, and realize just how very much it completed me, how much joy and fufillment not just having a child, but CHILDBIRTH had given me. She has been a blessing in so many ways - my mother died suddenly in April. Funnily enough, Molly has always been the spitting image of her (although I look nothing like my mom). God (or fate) knew what they were doing when Molly was born - she has been such a source of comfort and happiness for not only me, but my entire family. There is no question that my mother lives on in my daughter.

Forgive me, but I really do feel passionately about this topic. I will NEVER forget how infertility impacted my life, and I will never be dismissive nor cavalier about the heartache and suffering of those who share this issue. If anything, the birth of my daughter has made me even more feverent in my hopes that all women who have fertility issues have at least a chance at the happiness that I have been blessed with.

Isobel - posted on 07/18/2010

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hmmmm...I suppose that since our govt covers abortion, and that's not essential (it actually covers a LOT of things that are non-essential), it seems only right and fair...keep in mind that once UHC starts covering it the price goes WAY down...you can't look at it as if it's going to cost the govt the same as it costs the individual, cause it's not even close.

Jess - posted on 07/18/2010

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From what I understand of the OP, Quebec is running the IVF program in the place of fertility drugs. So couples will use the free service instead of the drugs that let out an indiscriminate number of eggs to be fertilised. So in this instance fertility drugs won't even be on the radar for couples struggling to conceive rather than the first choice.

LaCi - posted on 07/18/2010

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"Out of the 308,000 kids in foster care, how many of them had dead beat parents who refused to give them up for adoption or had grand parents who were desperate to take them into their care ?



Is it reasonable to expect that an average couple would pass as adoptive parents. I mean adoption is so expensive and the hoops they make you jump through. Its just crazy ! Adoption is just so far out of so many couples reach"



Unfortunately the census doesn't provide the reasons children are in foster care and I had to clean up poop so I couldn't find more stats. And as I said before, adoption should be cheaper and simpler.



*"119000 children are waiting to be adopted in the foster care system alone." thats a little more accurate I suppose. Children who do not have parents holding on to their legal rights.

LaCi - posted on 07/18/2010

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"Would you rather a couple take fertility drugs and end up with sextuplets that will no doubt require a long NICU stay.... which would be paid for by your tax payer dollars? It would be reasonable to believe that IVF would be cheaper in that situation !"

If I'm not mistaken, when fertility meds are an option it is the first choice and IVF is considered after that method is ineffective.

Jess - posted on 07/18/2010

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Out of the 308,000 kids in foster care, how many of them had dead beat parents who refused to give them up for adoption or had grand parents who were desperate to take them into their care ?

Is it reasonable to expect that an average couple would pass as adoptive parents. I mean adoption is so expensive and the hoops they make you jump through. Its just crazy ! Adoption is just so far out of so many couples reach

Jess - posted on 07/18/2010

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Mary you make such a great point ! Where do you draw the line at what is necessary and what is just a luxury for the rich ?

I think the point to the program was to give couples a credible and safe way to conceive a baby that wasn't available to them in the past.

Would you rather a couple take fertility drugs and end up with sextuplets that will no doubt require a long NICU stay.... which would be paid for by your tax payer dollars? It would be reasonable to believe that IVF would be cheaper in that situation !

My cousin is not infertile, but she does have a genetic condition that is deadly to boys. She needs IVF to make sure any boy babies she may have won't be given a death sentence. A long and painful and expensive death sentence. The money paid for IVF would be NOTHING in comparison to the years of hospital care this boy would need.

Sometimes its the lesser of 2 evils !

Rosie - posted on 07/18/2010

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you could also go as far to say that those of us who have accidentally got pregnant and now have to use programs like wic, medicaid, or food stamps etc. are doing the same thing. should they not fund those people either?

LaCi - posted on 07/18/2010

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"Would you lessen the scrutiny of potential parents? I don't think anyone would be okay with a process that allowed a child to be given to a couple that was not thoroughly screened - the first child that was abused or in any other 'preventable' way harmed, and the backlash would be staggering. "

There are far too many obstacles in adoption. A criminal check is perfectly fine, as well as the typical monitoring of the first three months. Foster parents even face difficulties getting legal custody of the kids they have fostered. If they're good enough to foster children why aren't they good enough to be their permanent legal guardians? There were 308,000 children in foster care in 2004. Isn't it more noble to save a life rather than go to such great lengths to create a life? I think so.

Jess - posted on 07/18/2010

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I think its a wonderful idea ! I say that coming from a country where medical care is free to all, as it should be. There are a lot of good reason's why couples choose IVF and its not always because of infertility.

Adoption is such a long hard road, and its only getting harder. If you want people to adopt instead of trying IVF than adoption needs to be made easier and cheaper ! Unless you are very well off adoption is just not an option. And not all countries accept foreign adoption, just another obstacle childless couples have to tackle !

Im more than happy to have my tax dollars help another family... isn't that what being apart of a community is all about... helping each other ?

Caitlin - posted on 07/18/2010

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I never said that infertility treatments are "non essential", only that they are "less essential" than other things seriously impacting peoples health today. Helping with diabetes prevention/awareness and treatment today will save hundreds of millions of dollars in the long run, 20-30 years down the line because complication caused by diabetes are numerous and VERY common, but almost 100% preventable with proper treatment and education. I truly feel for a woman who has trouble conceiving, but I still feel that on the list of priorities, it is NOT at the top (or shouldn't be). It;s like taking someone on the transplant list who has a few people ahead of them, just because she "really really wants it" and it's damaging not to have it, well yes, it may be damaging, but sadly there are other people (things) that come first..

Mary - posted on 07/18/2010

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Cathy - I fully understand the concept of prioritizing health care, but the restictions/conditions you've listed for "qualifying" for gov't funded IVF just don't sit well with me. It seems (to me) that because you don't see infertility as as a true medical condition that requires treatment and intervention, it should be limited in it's avaliablity to only a select group that meet a specific criteria. When I say I question the morality and ethics of this, part of it is because of the impact such a standard can have on other areas of health care.





For example - to save health care dollars, a woman who has undergone a double mastectomy for breast cancer should no longer be covered to have reconstructive breast surgery. After all, there is no PHYSICAL necessity for this, it is purely cosmetic surgery, and the only reason to do it is for a woman's self esteem and body image.



Another possibilty - stop using gov't tax dollars to treat anyone with heart disease who is a smoker, is obese (remember, medically this is a BMI > 30, so I'm not talking HUGE), or leads a sedentary lifestyle. Since these are all modifiable risk factors, someone should not qualify for payment of treatments until they have eliminated these issues from their life. After all, it could be argued that their heart disease (or constrictive lung disease, or even cancer, is self-inflicted).



I could go on and on with a myriad on things that insurance or gov't funded healthcare could make "elective" self-pay procedures or treatments, as well a host of diseases that could be denied treatment due to the presence of modifiable risk factors.



Another note: While I support the concept of universal coverage, I am not optimistic that it will be fully implemented any time soon in the US. However, I did want to add that most states have passed legislation that employers must provide coverage for 3 rounds of IVF as part of the health insurance that they provide their employees. To the best of my knowledge, there are not any "qualifiers" in place along the lines of the ones you have suggested.



And, to the adoption contingent -

I agree that it would be helpful if adoption was made less expensive, but I don't understand how you think it should be made "easier" (aside from the fact that I still maintain that it is NOT the "answer" to infertility for many couples). Would you lessen the scrutiny of potential parents? I don't think anyone would be okay with a process that allowed a child to be given to a couple that was not thoroughly screened - the first child that was abused or in any other 'preventable' way harmed, and the backlash would be staggering.



It still doesn't address the problem of there simply not being a plethora of babies out there just wating to be adopted. I can only comment on the US, but very few women/girls today are opting to place their babies up for adoption. Most modern societies have numerous social programs in place to assist single mothers lacking the resources to raise a child on her own, and the social stigma that used to be attached to single parenthood is greatly reduced. This is not a bad thing, but it does mean that there are significantly less children available for adoption. The days of overflowing orphanages with children just waiting for their parents to find them are a thing of the past.



I would not be surprised if some of you are thinking about all those special needs and/or "older" kids that are available for adoption. I have heard many a fertile woman say that "if you REALLY wanted a child of your own, you wouldn't care if they were less than perfect, or not an infant or even toddler". It's really easy to be that altuistic from your armchair...it's a whole other thing to DO it in real life.



It's the same reason that most of you who are pet owners on here do not adopt older dogs or cats from shelters, but choose instead to stick with puppies or kittens from either a breeder, or a even a shelter. The 6 month old lab mix will always go quickly, but that 4 y/o pit mix (who turns out to be a lovely dog, btw!) will languish in the "system" - possibly forever.



I think this arguement will always boil down to 2 sides- those of us who experienced the absolute heartache of primary infertility, and those of you have conceived without effort (or even by accident or carelessness). It's really easy to think infertility treatments are "non essential" when you have no concept on just how life-altering, demoralizing, and devastating it can be.

Rosie - posted on 07/17/2010

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i don't have a problem with publicaly funded invitro. i can't imagine what it would be like not being able to have a child of my own. i think there should be restrictions on it, but to absolutely just so no to it is insensitive, and wrong IMO.

Caitlin - posted on 07/17/2010

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I wouldn't mind adopting a child, but I don't think we'd pass the screenings to be honest. I've always considered adopting a child with some health issues (allergies/asthma/hearing impairment) because we already deal with all that at home, it wouldn't be that hard to integrate, but I don't think my husband is keen on the idea. Financially, I doubt they'd allow us to adopt, and I think he'd think it was weird raising someone elses child. I would love to do it, give a child a good chance in life, a good stable home with a loving family.

Sarah - posted on 07/16/2010

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I think it's all pretty easy for us to say that it shouldn't be paid for out of our taxes, and why not just adopt etc etc.
We've all managed to get pregnant, and carry our babies for 9 months and give birth etc.
It must be awful to want all those things SO badly, and see others doing it SO easily and only have money standing in the way of the possibility of having your dreams come true!

I think it's great that it's available on the NHS, I'm sure there's other things the money could also be spent on, but then I expect there is tax money being spent on things way more ridiculous than IVF.......maybe people should see if cuts can be made elsewhere, like politicians wages etc etc. :)

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