Ontario says it will fund one cycle of in-vitro fertilization for eligible women up to the age of 42, a change that women who have undergone the costly treatment have advocated for.
The province will increase funding for IVF by $50 million annually, Health Minister Eric Hoskins said Thursday. The funding is in addition to the $20 million per year currently spent on assisted reproduction services.
About two per cent of births in Ontario are a result of IVF, and Hoskins says people will be able to get funding for the treatment beginning in December.
"Children are our future and, by creating a more equitable and accessible fertility program, the government is supporting family-building for those who couldn't otherwise have the opportunity to have children," Hoskins said in a statement.
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Sandra Alsaffawi-David was thrilled to hear today's announcement.
Alsaffawi-David told CBC News that she had to get private medical funding for an IVF procedure three years ago after her husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. Alsaffawi-David said the treatment, which didn't work, set her back over $9,000.
"I'm paying off that medical loan every month and it's a reminder that the procedure didn't work," she said.
In a statement, she said today's announcement sends "a clear and powerful message that infertility is a legitimate health issue and medical condition."
Last April, Ontario announced it would fund in-vitro fertilization for people unable to have children otherwise, and would pay the cost of one cycle of IVF treatment per patient.
The Liberals set up an advisory body to make sure high-quality practices are followed, including ensuring that only one embryo is used per treatment. So-called single-embryo transfer has been shown elsewhere to cut the number of twins, triplets and other multiple births that result from IVF treatments.