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Abstract

In December 2015, the government of Ontario introduced the Fertility Program, a plan to publicly fund in vitro fertilization (IVF). The Fertility Program seeks to use the advanced reproductive technology to reduce the occurrence of multiple births and to increase access to fertility treatments. This paper does not argue that IVF should not be publicly funded at all, but rather posits that in a time when the government is restricting healthcare spending, scarce resources must be allocated appropriately. The Ontario government has failed to craft a cost-effective funding program to maximize these limited resources by expanding the role of healthcare to a point that is unsustainable. While the Fertility Program makes steps towards achieving its goals, it fails to implement a comprehensive regulatory scheme and provide financial assistance to those with the greatest need. The province’s failure to provide exclusion criteria to access funding allows the government to escape accountability by deferring public policy decisions to individual fertility clinics. In light of these shortcomings, several reforms to the Fertility Program are suggested and the implications of the Fertility Program going forward have been identified.