The federal government has granted a special dispensation to Ontario to have a fertility formulary and to provide it with an electronic record of patients and doctors who have taken part.
Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews said in a statement Thursday that she’s happy to have the province’s doctors and other providers provide the records to help Canadians learn about and manage their fertility.
The province’s fertility ministry had asked the federal government for an extension of the mandate to create a fertility program, saying the federal review of the provincial program had left the province vulnerable to a lack of support from the U.S. Federal Drug Administration.
A number of other provinces have similar programs in place, but there has been no extension in years.
The federal health department had been reviewing whether Ontario had a “ready-made” system that could support patients.
Matthews said the province has a unique approach to managing fertility, because it’s based on a woman’s own fertility, not a doctor’s.
“The province has developed a unique system that’s based not on a physician’s prescription but on a personal, informed, informed choice of treatment,” she said.
The Ontario fertility program was created in the 1990s as part of a federal plan to address a significant birth defect called congenital heart defects.
That was a major focus of the federal health minister, Andrew Chan, at a press conference in Ottawa.
The new federal program will allow Ontario to provide patients with information about their options, including access to the province-funded fertility program website and the online tool for accessing information on pregnancy tests.
Ontarios own fertility drug programThe provincial government has not given details about the medication the province will use to administer the program, but it will include the same brand of birth control as the U and C drugs.
It will be available over the counter at pharmacies and online.