Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Ontario Helping People Start and Grow their Families
Fertility Program Marks One-Year Anniversary
Ontario is helping thousands of people fulfill their dreams of starting or growing a family with the Ontario Fertility Program.
Today, Premier Kathleen Wynne celebrated the success of the Ontario Fertility Program alongside families who have participated in the program over the past year. Since the government launched the program in December 2015, Ontario has provided more than 6,500 people with funding for in vitro fertilization and related services.
In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a medical procedure in which an egg is retrieved, fertilized by sperm outside the body, and the resulting embryo is then implanted in the uterus. One cycle of IVF can cost more than $10,000 if paid for privately, in addition to the cost of drugs, making it unaffordable for many of the roughly one in six Ontario couples experiencing infertility. The Ontario Fertility Program helps to reduce the cost of IVF, making it more affordable for people with all forms of infertility, regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation or family status.
Improving affordability and access to reproductive health care is part of the government's plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care.
- In its first year, the Ontario Fertility Program has provided almost 4,800 patients with funded egg retrieval, embryology and fresh embryo transfer services, and over 1,700 IVF patients with funded frozen embryo transfer services.
- There are 18 clinics in Ontario where patients can receive a funded IVF cycle.
- To further support people looking to start or grow a family, the government is also strengthening the adoption system.
- Helping people conceive and adopt children builds on a number of recent steps Ontario has taken to better support growing families, including increasing the number of newborn screenings, increasing the number of birth options and creating two out of hospital birthing centres, funding well-baby visits through primary care, opening the province’s first ever breast milk bank and recognizing the legal status of all parents, whether they are LGBTQ2+ or straight, and whether their children were conceived with or without assistance.
"Infertility can be an emotionally and financially draining experience. With this program, we are helping ease the financial burden for thousands of people and making it easier for people to start or grow a family. I look forward to seeing more happy and healthy families as the program continues."
— Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
"Nearly one in six Ontario couples is affected by infertility, and we are pleased to see so many people embracing the Ontario Fertility Program in its first year. Children are our future and by creating a more reasonable and accessible fertility program, Ontario is supporting family building for those who need the assistance of IVF."
— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
"I am proud Ontario is supporting families and has taken such positive steps towards strengthening our adoption system, and we remain committed to keeping the process as smooth and successful as possible. All children and youth in Ontario deserve supportive, loving homes, and I'm thrilled to say that many families are one step closer to making this a reality."
— Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services
"Ontario has shown great leadership with the Ontario Fertility Program and is a successful model for other Canadian provinces when it comes to providing equitable access to IVF. We congratulate all the families who have had a positive experience with the program to date — from those who have welcomed a new addition to their family to those who have gained a renewed sense of hope for the future."
— Danielle Xavier, President of the IVF advocacy group, Conceivable Dreams
Communications and Marketing Division-MOHLTC