Canada's universal health care system should fund in-vitro fertilization

August 31, 2009

Canada should extend universal health coverage to fund in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection, writes Dr. Renda Bouzayen, Division Head, Reproductive Endocrine and Infertility, Dalhousie University in an editorial with the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) editorial writing team.

For infertile couples in Canada, the cost of becoming pregnant is largely private but the public health care system bears the cost of caring for mother and children. Infertility treatments are expensive, with an average cost of $10,000 which can climb to $15,000 to $20,000 for women who require more medication to spur ovulation. Because of high costs, many couples choose to transfer multiple embryos, which can result in multiple births.

However, there are higher health risks for both mother and children with multiple gestational pregnancies. The mortality rate after birth is 4 times higher for twins and 6-9 times higher for triplets than singleton births. Complications such as cerebral palsy are 3-7 times more common in twins and 10 times more common in triplets.

"When those deaths and complications occur, it is the public health care system that bears the cost while the parents and children bear the grief," Dr. Bouzayen writes.

Quebec has recently introduced legislation to ensure the province's health insurance system will pay for in vitro fertilization. After Finland decided to fund single-embryo transfers, after in vitro decreased from 24% in 1996 to 14% in 2002 with an unchanged live birth rate.

Canada must do the same. A cooperative, coordinated approach across the country is needed to improve health for Canadian women attempting to conceive with and the children who are the fruits of this technology.

More information: http://www.cmaj.ca/press/cmaj091344.pdf

Source: (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Women who sexually abuse children are just as harmful to their victims as male abusers

August 21, 2017
"That she might seduce a helpless child into sexplay is unthinkable, and even if she did so, what harm can be done without a penis?"

Newly deciphered vitamin D regulatory pathway opens doors to clinical research

August 21, 2017
Biochemists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have deciphered the molecular mechanisms that underpin how the synthesis of the active form of vitamin D is regulated in the kidney, summing up decades of research in this ...

To reduce postoperative pain, consider sleep—and caffeine

August 18, 2017
Sleep is essential for good mental and physical health, and chronic insufficient sleep increases the risk for several chronic health problems.

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco

August 17, 2017
Vaping - or the use of e-cigarettes - is widely accepted as a safer option for people who are already smoking.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

joefarah
not rated yet Aug 31, 2009
Wrong. No funding should be available here. IVF is not understood adequately. First of all, we have more complications. Secondly, there is a moral issue that will never be resolved and so needs to be avoided. It's fine for a couple to want a baby - and in Canada, there are 100,000+ abortions each year... so let's stop the abortions and start the adoptions.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.