Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Some Interesting Reading

I forgot to put this in my last post. A pair of articles in the Herald concerning fertility treatments. The first is about the experience, the second is about the idea of having provincial health care cover fertility treatment costs.

I recognize the system is pretty strapped for cash, but there is an argument to be made that infertility is a medical issue. And specifically for IVF, there's also an argument that without the cost burden, people might be more willing to implant less eggs, resulting in less multiple births, which tend, in the long run, to cost the health care system more.

On the other hand, I can understand the argument that any public health system IVF dollars could be better spent elsewhere.

I don't know the answer... just wanted to raise the question with you all. I'd probably feel a lot stronger about it if we didn't have mysterious benefactors.

Two posts in one night... aren't you all lucky!


  1. There's a cost imperative, but also an ethical one - not only do multiple births cost the system more (more intensive care, more risks to pregnancy, etc etc) long term, but they're far worse for the babies as well. I don't want to be the guy who's always "things are better in France" all the time, but they recognize this in France, and cover it as a result.

  2. Based on a quick Googling, it looks like there are ~10K IVF treatments a year in Canada. (Less, but let's round to the nearest magnitude.) And each costs...uh, wow, that's a really complicated pricing scheme and I don't know what most of the items mean. Um, $10K more or less? Probably a bit less. And there's the fact that for-profit medicine always has grossly overinflated prices. So let's say, as Canadian taxpayers, we'd be looking at between one and ten million dollars annually.

    Hmm. I'm not decided on this issue either, but that's not a ludicrous amount.