IVF funding in N.B. urged to lessen financial 'sacrifice'

A New Brunswick couple that had trouble conceiving says the province should help fund in vitro fertilization.

Ted Flemming pledged $1 million investment in infertility treatment

Quebec became the first jurisdiction in North America to pay for fertility treatments in 2010, including the cost of drugs, for three to six IVF cycles. (Canadian Press)

A New Brunswick couple that had trouble conceiving says the province should follow on the heels of Ontario and Quebec and help fund in vitro fertilization.

Last Month, Ontario became the second province in Canada to pay for one cycle of the procedure.

Josee and Francois Leblanc say they tried for years to have a baby.

Around 14 months ago, they turned to Conceptia Fertility Clinic, a non-profit organization in Moncton.

Now, thanks to IVF they have a one-month-old son, Alec.

“When we came for the ultrasound we were just, we were just so happy,” said Josee Leblanc.

The procedure wasn't cheap.

“We don't drive any new cars. We didn’t go on a honeymoon. All our savings went to make this little baby,” she said.

The average cost of the treatment ranges between $8,000 to $14,000.

Funding and research desired

The new mom says others have considered leaving New Brunswick for a province where it's supported.

“We actually know someone who was debating moving back to Quebec because she had to do it five times, I think, to get her little boy. She had to remortgage her house and everything,” Leblanc said.

We don't drive any new cars. We didn’t go on a honeymoon. All our savings went to make this little baby.- Josee Leblanc

“She stayed here but it was a big sacrifice for them. We were lucky, we did it in one cycle, two times at one cycle. But some people it's not the same at all."

This year, as part of his budget speech, Health Minister Ted Flemming announced a $1 million investment to establish a fund for infertility treatment.

According to the Department of Health, details of the fund are being finalized and will be available soon.

Dr. Alfred Robichaud, director of Conceptia, says he would like to see IVF supported in New Brunswick.

“There are young good couples that would do so well taking care of a baby that cannot do it just because they don’t have the finances. Having this help is going to make it possible for them,” he said.

Robichaud says more funding for research could also help couples dealing with infertility.

Quebec became the first jurisdiction in North America to pay for fertility treatments in 2010, including the cost of drugs, for three to six IVF cycles.

Manitoba offers a tax credit to cover part of the costs to a maximum of $8,000 a year.

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