Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 1033–1040 | Cite as

A Comparison of Immigrant and Canadian-Born Patients Seeking Fertility Treatment

  • Phyllis Zelkowitz
  • Leonora King
  • Rob Whitley
  • Togas Tulandi
  • Carolyn Ells
  • Nancy Feeley
  • Ian Gold
  • Zeev Rosberger
  • Peter Chan
  • Sharon Bond
  • Neal Mahutte
  • Sophia Ouhilal
  • Hananel Holzer
Original Paper


The present study examined whether public funding for in vitro fertilization (IVF) in Quebec, Canada was associated with differential access among Canadian-born infertility patients and those born outside of Canada. Anonymous demographic questionnaires were completed at 3 time points: 2 weeks before the implementation of public funding, 2 weeks after, and 8 months later. Almost half the patients were not born in Canada and of these, 35 % were recent immigrants to Canada. While patients born outside Canada were generally better educated than Canadian-born patients, they were more likely to be unemployed and have lower incomes. Following public funding, there was an overall increase in patients with lower incomes and lower levels of education. Canadian-born patients were more likely than immigrant patients to consult for secondary infertility. Patients born outside Canada tended to be older and nulliparous, suggesting that they may have delayed treatment seeking due to financial and other barriers. The results indicate that public funding reduces health disparities in access to IVF.


Infertility Access to treatment Assisted reproductive technology In-vitro fertilization Public funding Immigrants 



This research was funded by grant number PAH 103596 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, in partnership with Assisted Human Reproduction Canada. The authors would like to thank Abbas Kezouh for providing us with statistical consulting as well as Marie-Eve Boucher and Marie-Eve Carrier for their work in planning and implementing the data collection procedures for this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phyllis Zelkowitz
    • 1
  • Leonora King
    • 1
  • Rob Whitley
    • 2
  • Togas Tulandi
    • 3
  • Carolyn Ells
    • 4
  • Nancy Feeley
    • 5
  • Ian Gold
    • 6
  • Zeev Rosberger
    • 7
  • Peter Chan
    • 8
  • Sharon Bond
    • 9
  • Neal Mahutte
    • 10
  • Sophia Ouhilal
    • 10
  • Hananel Holzer
    • 11
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital, The Lady Davis Institute for Medical ResearchMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Douglas Mental Health InstituteMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jewish General HospitalMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Department of Medicine and Biomedical Ethics Unit, The Lady Davis Institute for Medical ResearchMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  5. 5.Centre for Nursing Research, Jewish General Hospital, The Lady Davis Institute for Medical ResearchIngram School of Nursing, McGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  6. 6.Departments of Philosophy and PsychiatryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  7. 7.Department of Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital, The Lady Davis Institute for Medical ResearchMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  8. 8.Division of UrologyMcGill University Health CentreMontrealCanada
  9. 9.Department of Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital, School of Social WorkMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  10. 10.Montreal Fertility CentreMontrealCanada
  11. 11.MUHC Reproductive CentreMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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