Spring has sprung. The flowers are in bloom. It’s a beautiful day to have a baby! It seems that on my Facebook feed there is an ever present feed of baby announcements, baby sonogram pictures and baby arrivals. Its is the time of year that we think of birth, re-creation and celebration. It is the time of year that we look at life with the glass half full. That is what so many of us see but for many, this particular time of year when we celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, can be difficult if you are a couple waiting to conceive your bundle of joy. You have been counting the days since that historic announcement. The joy of celebrating is diminished by the fact that you have patiently been waiting for the Government of Ontario to roll out their plan for IVF treatment. What is it going to look like? Who will be able to access the services? What do those services and treatments look like?
In 2014 budget the Government of Ontario committed $50 million dollars to patients seeking infertility treatment. Promising patients access to one round of IVF with a single embryo transfer funded by OHIP.
As we wait for the roll-out many are frustrated with the delay in program details and implementation. Although there has been consultation with medical and patient groups, it is important that we get this funding model right. There are lessons to be learned from other provincial programs that were not as successful. As we review the Quebec government-funded IVF model, we can see the demise of the original program (and, currently, its almost unattainable requirements to qualify for treatment) are pitfalls that we need to avoid here in Ontario.
We must ensure that the Ontario model is manageable and sustainable for all patients. We do not want this to be a one-shot deal that cannot be renewed because the costs were too much over the long haul. Consultation is necessary so that we can plan better and continue to keep IVF at the top of mind as a means to save tax-payers money.
As you well know, if you read my blog and that of Paula Schuck (community manager for Conceivable Dreams), you are aware that proceeding with IVF treatment and dealing with the possibility of multiple births creates a greater strain on our healthcare system. Taking care of mom and multiple babies can be a high-risk affair not to mention the increased chance of pre-mature birth. All very costly. We need to continue to support IVF funding in Ontario BUT it needs to be rolled out correctly with proper consultation.
We want to ensure that the patient groups are covered throughout the program and not just for short period time. The future of the program depends on the success of families. It’s important that we continue to share our stories of creating Ontario families with the help of IVF.
How can we help? We need to support the MPPs and let them know we appreciate the efforts that they put forward for the benefit of families in Ontario. The Ontario patient group continues to be really active and success based. We need to continue to share the success of IVF treatment and not just the frustration with the roll out.
We have to talk about what we should be looking for in the latter part of 2015 and then 2016. We are hosting another Twitter Party to talk about the role for the patient group in Ontario. How do we keep the group relevant. Strategies on how to keep the role for infertility patients in 2016. We can look to see how we can remain focused, positive and supportive. We need to continue to be engaged while understanding that programs like these must be accessible to as many patients as possible.
Join us this Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST when we discuss ways that we can support our patient groups during this waiting period. All patients in Ontario need to be here for this special twitter party event.
Please be sure and follow Conceivable Dreams on: Twitter and Facebook. Join the conversation using the #OHIP4IVF hashtag.
Website: Conceivable Dreams
Please join us for this very important hour on #OHIP4IVF:
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10, 2015
8:00 – 9:00pm (EST)
7:00 – 8:00pm (CST)
6:00 – 7:00pm (MST)
5:00 – 6:00pm (PST)
HASHTAGS: #OHIP4IVF #ONPOLI