The Quebec government has decided to spend about 25 million dollars this year to cover the cost of several fertility treatments. The goal is to increase the province's birth rate, something the government says is crucial to the province's future. But Quebec's College of Physicians, as well as other health professionals say the money would be better spent fixing the province's already overburdened health care system, not adding new costs for services that many say are not essential.
Last month, the Quebec Government began covering the cost of several fertility treatments ... including egg harvesting, embryo transfer and up to three rounds of in-vitro fertilization - or IVF. It's expected to cost the government about 25-million-dollars this year and considerably more in the future. And the hope is that it will result in 7,000 newborn babies per year by 2014.
This morning, as part of "Shift," our focus on Canada's changing demographics, we're looking at the Quebec Government's efforts to boost the province's birth rate.
But not everyone is happy about the Quebec Government's decision to fund fertility treatments. The Quebec Federation of Medical Specialists says the province doesn't have the doctors or the physical resources to make the project work.
And Abby Lippman shares these worries. She teaches in the faculty of medicine at McGill University. She's also a board member for the Quebec Federation for Birth Family Planning. She was in Montreal.
Beverly Hanck has a very different take on this issue. She's the Executive Director of the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada. And she spent five years lobbying the Quebec government to fund IVF. She was also in Montreal.