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Rising multiple births cost system. (Health).

OTTAWA -- Hospitals and the public health care system are bearing the costly, fallout for an explosion in multiple births that is driven largely by the private fertility industry, Dr. Jon Barrett, head of the multiple births clinic at Sunnybrook and Women's College Hospital in Toronto claims.

Dr. Barrett noted that multiple births account for about 20 per cent of neo-natal intensive care admissions and are responsible for the rise in the pre-term birth rate, particularly for those babies born at 24 to 28 weeks gestation, who often require considerable and costly medical care. Multiple birth babies also have a much higher chance of having cerebral palsy or other handicaps.

Noting that multiple births are overloading an already overloaded system, Dr. Barrett in a speech to a conference on multiple births says private fertility clinics have little accountability for the methods and procedures they use or the outcomes of their treatment.

Dr. Barrett advocated that Canada's public health care system take control of reproductive medicine by providing funding for treatment and setting guidelines, saying it is a "false economy" otherwise because "the treatment is being done anyway, in a private system with no accountability, and the government is left picking up the tab at the other end."
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Publication:Community Action
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jul 14, 2003
Words:206
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