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***DATE CHANGE*** Conceivable Dreams–Keeping the Conversation going on Infertility (IVF) funding in Ontario–Twitter Party Thurs. Oct. 1, 2015

Doctor Consults A Young Couple

I am reminded yet again the beauty of being part of a family.  With the kids starting to get settled into their routines, I am reminded how much I love being a mom.  I am blessed to have three children that bring nothing but joy to my life.  I really cannot remember a time that I did not want to be a mom.  I never considered a life without children.  It perplexes me when people don’t want to have children and it saddens me when I meet people that do want to have children and cannot.  I have come to understand a few truths: dealing with infertility is not about ‘making the wrong choices’ or ‘delaying the decision’.  Often infertility is due to other causes like cancer treatment, PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome) or endometriosis.  Couples don’t choose to go the long road. It still amazes me to know that 1 in 6 couples struggles with infertility and there are thousands of women and men who have been unable to access in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments they need due to inequitable of often prohibitive funding barriers.

As an supporter of those Canadians seeking help with IVF treatment, it’s important to see that some of the milestones in the progress to get public funding continue.  We, as a country, are new to the publicly funded formula of to help with infertility treatment. Acknowledging that infertility  is a legitimate health issue and medical condition, is a step in the right direction for publicly funded IVF solutions.  Infertility treatment In Canada is mostly privately funded with people having to pay between $10,000 –13,000 per round of treatment.  This can be taxing on any couple or young family so the need to have a publicly funded program continues to be a priority for both patients, doctors and clinicians. Currently, New Brunswick has some funding ($5,000 grant), Manitoba has a tax credit and Quebec still has a plan (although it is under review and likely to be dramatically altered). Over a year ago, the Government of Ontario had promised a program and we anxiously await the announcement of what that will look like in the near future.  As Canadians we need to ensure that there is a continued dialog to create funding for infertility treatment across the board.  If you want to further understand where we are in this landscape nationally, I encourage you to read this great post by Paula Schuck at Thriftymomma’s Tips.  She gives you a better perspective on where each province is in this mouse trap.

Continued advocacy from patient groups, like Conceivable Dreams gives us hope that the input that they were able to give during the building process of the Ontario Infertility program is time well spent.  It is not easy to put together a comprehensive programs that will be beneficial and equitable.  We do know that experience from around the world show that established IVF funding programs provide consistent health and safety standards, positively impact the mental and physical health of those affected by infertility  and significantly reduce the rate of higher multiple births. This leads to improved health for mom and babies and will also reduce the cost to the healthcare system.

Important Events in the next Two Weeks

  • In the next two weeks there are events bringing greater awareness in the infertility world.  The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) annual meeting/ conference takes place Oct. 1-4 .  The CFAS is the recognized Canadian multidisciplinary authority in reproductive science and medicine.  They will be discussing is the merits of public funding for IVF.
  • At the conference (in conjunction with IAAC) the Family Matters Challenge will take place.   For the last two years, IAAC supporters have been successful in raising their voices to say that family does matter.  You can join in as they are still looking for volunteers.

 

  • IAAC  is also launching a new web site (they are the national support for infertility patients.) They will now be called Fertility Matters.  You can follow them on twitter @FertilityMattrs.

It’s time to take stock of what’s happening for infertility patients in Canada.  Please join Conceivable Dreams, the Ontario Infertility Patient Advocacy Group,(@IVF4ON), Paula Schuck (@Inkscrblr), myself (@DownshiftingPRO) and our @LinkedMoms community for a Twitter Party on Wednesday, September 30 at 8 pm ET

Website: Conceivable Dreams

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ConceivableDreams

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IVF4ON

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/ohip4ivf/

DATE:

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2015

TIME:

8:00 – 9:00pm (EST)
7:00 – 8:00pm (CST)
6:00 – 7:00pm (MST)
5:00 – 6:00pm (PST)

HOSTED:

@Linkedmoms , Conceivable Dreams @IVF4ON

LinkedMoms website

HASHTAGS: #IVF40N #ONPOLI

MODERATORS

@inkscrblr – Paula Schuck

@DownshiftingPROMargarita Ibbott

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Conceivable Dreams Twitter Party–What’s Next? Looking to support our efforts #OHIP4IVF #ONPOLI

Close-up of baby's hand holding mother's finger

 

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ConceivableDreams

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OHIP4IVF

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/ohip4ivf/conceivablebooks/

Please join us for this very important hour on #OHIP4IVF:

DATE:


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10, 2015

TIME:


8:00 – 9:00pm (EST)
7:00 – 8:00pm (CST)
6:00 – 7:00pm (MST)
5:00 – 6:00pm (PST)

HOSTED:

@Linkedmoms , Conceivable Dreams @OHIP4IVF

LinkedMoms website

HASHTAGS: #OHIP4IVF #ONPOLI

MODERATORS

@inkscrblr – Paula Schuck
@inkscrblr  on Facebook
@inkscrblr  on Instagram
@inkscrblr Blog

@DownshiftingPROMargarita Ibbott
@DownshiftingPRO on Facebook

@DownshiftingPRO on Instagram
@DownshiftingPRO Blog

LinkedMoms Chat with Conceivable Dreams Twitter Party Wed. November 12 at 8 pm ET–Join the Conversation

Public funding  for IVF advocate Dr. Marjorie Dixon

Many infertility patients feel routinely like they are living life on a roller coaster of emotions. Infertility is a complex health care issue that can be devastating both financially and emotionally. It is also very often extremely time sensitive. The treatment plan and the end result all depend on time. As we finish up the final months of 2014 with a promise that funding will happen some time in 2015, many patients are wondering when it will happen and what exactly the program will look like. Will there be restrictions? Waitlists? What can I expect?

If you are an infertility patient in Ontario, or someone who cares about an infertility patient, you need to join us this Wednesday night at 8 p.m. EST for a Linked Moms chat about public funding for IVF. This is a very special chat with guest Dr. Marjorie Dixon, medical director at First Steps Fertility in Toronto. Dixon is a well known expert in the field of reproductive medicine. She is an advocate for funding and has been a regular guest health expert on City Line. Dixon is also an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. Dr. Dixon was also consulted during the original Raising Expectations report commissioned several years ago that examined infertility and adoption policies in Ontario. LinkedMoms continues the conversation on #infertility.  Follow the #OHIP4IVF hashtag as we consult with Dr. Dixon.

 

Join us this Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST when we ask what should we expect from a program to fund IVF? Is there any new information? Can we afford to wait? 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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ConceivableDreams

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OHIP4IVF

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/ohip4ivf/conceivablebooks/

Please join us for this very important and fact filled hour on #OHIP4IVF:

 

DATE:


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2014

TIME:


8:00 – 9:00pm (EST)
7:00 – 8:00pm (CST)
6:00 – 7:00pm (MST)
5:00 – 6:00pm (PST)

HOSTED:

@Linkedmoms , Conceivable Dreams @OHIP4IVF

LinkedMoms website

 

MODERATORS

@inkscrblr – Paula Schuck
@inkscrblr  on Facebook
@inkscrblr  on Instagram
@inkscrblr Blog

@DownshiftingPROMargarita Ibbott
@DownshiftingPRO on Facebook

@DownshiftingPRO on Instagram
@DownshiftingPRO Blog

 

and finally @thexaviers Conceivable Dreams acting president and infertility advocate Danielle Xavier.

Public funding 4 IVF will help deliver health, social and fiscal benefits well into the future. #ohip4ivf #onpoli


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