Minister must step in to save Edmonton’s only public fertility clinic

EDMONTON, AB (November 3, 2017): Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann has released the following statement on the Edmonton Regional Fertility and Women’s Endocrine Clinic at the Royal Alexandra Hospital:

“Yesterday, I was immediately concerned when we were contacted by email raising concerns about the closure of the Edmonton Regional Fertility and Women’s Endocrine Clinic at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

“My staff reached out to AHS communications and to the Minister of Health, but did not receive a reply. However, later that evening, a document surfaced on Twitter appearing to confirm this rumour.

“Today, I join with affected patients and the Friends of Medicare in expressing my displeasure with this decision, and I am calling on Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman to step up for public health care and step in to save this clinic.

“According to the federal government, roughly 16 per cent, or 1 in 6, of couples in Canada experience infertility. This number has doubled since the 1980s. In Alberta, the cost associated with fertility treatments are completely borne by patients.

“That is why, prior to the 2015 provincial election, Alberta Liberals identified infertility funding as a major policy priority and recognized that funding of fertility treatments such as Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) was necessary to ensure families who require treatment have reasonable and fair access to treatment.

“The decision to close this public fertility clinic is unfair and puts unreasonable additional demands on Albertans who simply want the chance to have a family by natural birth.

“Not only does the Minister need to save this clinic, but the NDP must do more to help Albertans facing infertility in the public health care system, instead of offloading them onto the private sector.”