A Comparison of Immigrant and Canadian-Born Patients Seeking Fertility Treatment
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- Zelkowitz, P., King, L., Whitley, R. et al. J Immigrant Minority Health (2015) 17: 1033. doi:10.1007/s10903-014-0037-4
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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.