Friends of Medicare has demanded that Alberta Health Services reverse its decision to terminate services at the Edmonton Regional Fertility and Women’s Endocrine Clinic at the Lois Hole Hospital in Edmonton and refer patients to private clinics.
Friends of Medicare Executive Director Sandra Azocar made the statement after news broke on November 2 that the clinic will no longer offer services such as Intrauterine Insemination, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), as well as donor egg and sperm programs.
“The clinic at the Lois Hole Hospital is one of the last of two public academic IVF centres in all of Canada,” Azocar said. “Instead of ending the services, they should keep them in the hospital and begin covering IVF as a publicly insured service, which could save the health system as much as $100 million per year. That money could then be reinvested in improved services."
More IVF specialists have been trained at the University of Alberta through the clinic in the last 10 years than any other university in Canada.
Costs to patients in the public clinic are limited on a cost recovery basis to the hospital. Private clinics are allowed to offer those services at a higher cost, adding unnecessary cost barriers to those accessing reproductive health.