Some people in northern Ontario are hopeful that provincial funding for fertility treatments will lead to a clinic being set up north of Barrie.

The Ontario government committed last week to covering some of the costs of in vitro fertilization, but those in the north are also worried about the costs of travelling to clinics in southern Ontario.

Kayla and Kevin Roy each worked three jobs for a year to save the $12,000 they needed for fertility treatment. But the costs kept coming, as the Sudbury couple spent weeks on end in Hamilton going to the clinic, paying for hotel rooms and taking time off work.

"So, we had no income coming in. At least when just Kayla was down, I was here working,' Kevin Roy said.

They are now expecting, but Kayla Roy said she hopes a clinic will come to northern Ontario so other would-be parents don't have to travel south.

In-vitro fertilization

In vitro fertilization involves fertilizing an egg with a sperm outside of the body. (Dr. Thomas Hannam)

The Roys said there may be a hidden demand for the service in the north.

"If funding comes available, all these people who know they're infertile may pop up and say, 'hey me! Over here in Sault Ste. Marie, in Sudbury'Perhaps people aren't even seeking the option of fertility treatment because of the distance,” Kayla said

Keving noted that "not too many people have $10,000 in the bank.”

But with a small population, a northern clinic is unlikely without government subsidy, said  Dr. Matt Gysler, who works at a fertility centre in Mississauga.

"[It's] difficult to say, probably not. But it's certainly something one should look at if there's government involvement," he said.

Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews isn't making any promises, except to look at the idea of a northern fertility clinic, before the new program launches next year.

"Just like any other kind of health care it's important to me that people can get this kind of care no matter where in the province they live,"  Matthews said.