Thursday, March 03, 2011

27 Percent; now that's quite a drop!

On Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure to attend the brainstorming session organized by Kerri at Conceivable Dreams and held at the Ottawa Fertility Centre.

It was a wonderful evening spent in the company of some amazing people who shared their stories and who are all committed to bringing infertility to the attention of both politicians and everyday Canadians alike. There were some FANTASTIC ideas tossed around and I'm sure some members of that group will be involved with further development in the coming days/weeks/months.

That said, I learned one extremely interesting point on Tuesday night. I hadn't seen this statistic before but Dr. Leader (one of the REs on staff at OFC) brought it to my attention in his presentation to the group.

In three short months, there is evidence that Quebec's decision to adopt provincial funding for IVF treatments has decreased the rate of multiple pregnancies from the previous 30% of IVF treatments to just 3% of IVF treatments.

A 27% reduction in multiple pregnancies in only three months?! Amazing. Truly amazing. It boggles the mind. Right there is the reason why each province ought to fund treatments.

If only 3% of IVF treatments result in multiple pregnancies, that's a whole lot less women in the high-risk category. Thus they have less need for repeated ultrasounds. Less need for bloodwork. Less need for repeated visits to the OB. Less need for non-stress tests. Less need for amniocentesis procedures. Less need for (and I know it's never easy) selective reduction or other drastic medical procedures to ensure the health and safety of both mother and fetuses. Less need for long stays for infants in the NICU after birth. Less need for LOTS of expensive procedures. The cost is dramatically reduced right there.

If Ontario funded IVF, in only 10 years, the province would actually SAVE over $500 million. FIVE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS. It's mind-boggling. This really seems to be a no-brainer.

You end up with more children in the end, because more families would avail of the procedures, if they were funded. Thus you end up with more taxpayers. But you have less risk of multiple births (twins and triplets), and high-order multiples (4+ fetuses) would be almost non-existent. Hospital stays and costs would drastically reduce. In multiple pregnancies and births, often the babies suffer from long-term health issues. By minimizing the multiple pregnancies, we'd be reducing the costs of long-term care/treatment for each of these issues and we'd have more citizens to show for it.

Dr. Leader had that statistic for us the other night and my jaw dropped. No joke. With this evidence right in front of us, it only makes sense for Ontario to pay attention.

National Post Article: Quebec IVF strategy cuts rate of multiple pregnancies


Pam said...

I have wondered if Ontario finally decided to adopt provincial funding whether it would be open to all women regardless of age (like myself) or if it would be restricted to women up to the age of 44, say. Things that make you go hmmm.

Anonymous said...

I hope that they cover IVF and soon. So far, we have spent $57K on fertility treatment. If you hear of any developments with it, pass the info along.

loribeth said...

That is an AMAZING statistic!! I hope someone in Ontario is listening. :p