Tuesday, July 20, 2010

IVF to Be Paid by Quebec

If you are a couple struggling with infertility, are an in vitro fertilization candidate and you live in the province of Quebec in Canada, then you may feel like you've had some good luck come your way. The provincial government has decided that women will be allowed three tries at in vitro on the government's dollar - or in reality, the tax payers' dollar.

Is this a good idea? Some say yes, others say no.

Infertility is a difficult struggle for many couples. The amount of effort and money that goes into trying to conceive can be astronomical. Sometimes the tries are successful, resulting in a full-term pregnancy, sometimes they aren't.

The government says that this is a good use of the healthcare money. The birth rate is down in the province and we need repopulation so we can take care of others as they age. New blood, so to speak, is always needed so we have people growing up and becoming productive citizens. On the other hand, many who can't have children biologically end up adopting children who otherwise would have no family. A recent letter to the editor in the English Montreal daily pointed this out. The couple tried iIVFand was not successful. They are now the happy parents of adopted children. If theIVF had succeeded, those children may not have been adopted.

And what of the cost? The Quebec medicare system is bursting at the seams. Some people feel that they're not getting adequate care for life threatening and/or life changing health issues, often because of lack of funding. Many pregnant women can't find obstetricians, pediatricians are not taking new patients and finding a family doctor is getting close to impossible in some areas. By inviting women to have IVF on the provincial tab, we are causing an increased need for obstetricians, specifically those who work with infertility issues, nurses and obstetrical beds, pediatricians and family doctors for the babies, and so on. If we don't have enough to go around now, how can this be a good thing with even more babies?

There are those who argue that the medical system is for medical issues: if you're sick, you get treated. They say that IVF should not be included because infertility isn't an illness. Well, pregnancy isn't either, but it's covered by medicare. So, where do you draw the line?

So, for those women (and men) who have been trying to have children but can't - is this a good idea? Or should IVF remain the domain of private insurance or self-funding?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If there were unlimited dollars in the health care system, then funding IVF would be a no-brainer. But there isn't. I suspect part of this whole thing is wanting more 'pur laine' Quebecois rather than more immigrants to increase the population (perhaps a jaded view, but that's how I'm seeing it from the outside looking in).