‘We are all very excited about it’: B.C. budget promise to cover first round of IVF a welcome announcement


A provincial promise to cover the costs of the first round of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) for those in the province facing barriers to parenthood is exciting news for fertility specialists.

During the release of the provincial budget Thursday, B.C.’s finance minister announced funding towards IVF services.

“Everyone who wants to have a child should have the opportunity to do so, however, many people can’t conceive without help,” Katrine Conroy said.

“They may look at in-vitro fertilization or IVF but it can be expensive. No one should be denied the opportunity to have a child because of how much money they make, who they love, or whether they have a partner,” she said.

Starting April 2025, the province will allocate $68 million to launch a new publicly funded IVF program providing treatment and medication for a single cycle.

“We are all very excited about it. This is fantastic news for the people of B.C.,” said James Graham, clinical director of Victoria’s Olive Fertility Centre.

“A lot of other provinces has already brought this in and I think it’s a great thing.”

He said this opens the door for all couples and single parents struggling to start a family because of financial barriers.

The first round of treatment costs almost $20,000.

“Which is hard not to be able to make a medical decision because of a financial issue and this is going to make it so much easier that at least it’s an option that if people want to do it, they don’t have to worry about the cost,” Graham explained.

The provincial IVF program will only cover the cost of the first round if treatment.

Graham said unfortunately many couples will face multiple treatment cycles to conceive, with each round reducing the chance of conception.

Huge relief

Victoria resident Sheena McConnell used IVF to concieve her two daughters, who are now one and four years old.

She was one of the lucky few who were successful the first time around, but said the first round is the most expensive.

“I think our first round when we had out first child was about $17,000 and then our second child ended up being $2,500,” McConnell explained.

“The first round is the one that’s really financially hard on people and it’s hard to just get going on, so this would make such a difference to me in the past and to people going in.”

She added the IVF journey is very stressful physically, emotionally and financially so taking the financial stress away for at least one round of treatment is a huge relief.

There are still few details on the IVF program as the Ministry of Health will be working out the details over the year.

Graham said since the program funding was announced, the centre’s phone has been ringing off the hook with those looking for treatment options.

Olive Fertility Centre currently doesn’t offer IVF, but is in the final stages of licensing after a few setbacks.

More information on that will be released soon.

READ MORE: More access to fertility care coming to Vancouver Island this fall

Graham added while the program’s funding isn’t available until 2025, those facing decreased ovarian reserve or are above the age of 37 shouldn’t delay treatment.

“Just because their chances could be going down even faster,” he said.


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