Mental Health issues have an impact far beyond the person living with them. Families feel the strain, work places have an economic impact and tax dollars go towards the problem. I believe strongly in ensuring we are a healthy and happy society so I have no issues with my tax dollars helping someone to cope, but sometimes it is more beneficial to look at prevention rather than treatment.
Infertility is a medical issue with serious emotional costs – www.conceivabledreams.org. Our culture is changing. Men and women are focusing on education and careers and as a result they are having children later in life. The majority of women having children today are over thirty years old. A woman’s fertility starts to decline after 28. Due to these cultural changes, it is estimated that one is six Ontario couples requires some sort of assistance to achieve pregnancy.
The inability to have a child has an impact on society at large. The couple who are trying to conceive will suffer emotionally, and so will their families, friends and co-workers. Days of work will be missed and the financial impact will go beyond the cost of fertility treatments. Understandably, couples will choose to transfer multiple embryos during IVF cycles in order to increase their chances to conceive. The outcome of that can be multiple births, preterm births and a need for ongoing medical care.
A huge part of the emotional strain comes from the financial burden of fertility treatments. The cost is high and the results are far from guaranteed. Couples choose to transfer multiple embryos to increase their chances of success, and a high number of multiple births, preterm births and ongoing medical issues are the result.
Here is the cost breakdown of IVF in Canada. Quebec is publicly funding IVF while the other provinces are not.
So why should the Ontario Government fun IVF treatments for infertile couples? There are several reasons why I feel they should:
- To allow all couples to become parents
- To reduce the emotional stress and mental health issues that result from infertility
- To regulate the embryo transfers and prevent extreme multiple births
- To save tax payer dollars
It is estimated that funded IVF would cost the government $72 million in the first year. However, it would save the government an estimated $100-110 million annually in health care spent on perinatal, post-natal and long term health care and social services for dealing with pre-term, low weight and disabled children due to multiple births.
Funded IVF would change lives.
What You Can Do:
Make your local candidates earn your vote.
- Ask them where they stand on public funding of IVF. (Do this when they knock on your door, call your local campaign offices, or attend all candidate meetings)
- Share your personal fertility story.
- Inform them that OHIP funding for IVF would improve patient access and ensure a better start for IVF babies. And, since healthcare costs are always a concern, remind them that study after study has shown that public funding would reduce overall costs to the healthcare system.
- Tell them this issue is important to you and it will influence how you vote in the election.
- Tell them you will be voting for the candidate who supports IVF funding.
Follow @OHIP4IVF on Twitter or the hashtag #OHIP4IVF to support government funding for IVF.
I am writing this as a member of the Conceivable Dreams blog team, and I have been compensated for this post. My opinions are my own.