Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oh my Grrrr!

So, in response to my last post which talked about how I was having trouble writing the letter to the MP, I have since sat down and written a pretty good draft. No it's not done yet, but it is a LOT closer.

I've been at work, and not really working, rather, I've been investigating mountains of reports and documents relating to infertility funding in New Zealand.

So far I have found the following interesting documents:

  1. National Specialist Guidelines for Investigation of Infertility, Priority Criteria for Access to Public Funding of Infertility Treatment (This is a copy of the dreaded CPAC form)
  2. Assisted Reproductive Technology: The Aotearoa/New Zealand Policy Approach (A thesis by Lynne Patricia Batty)
  3. Access to Infertility Services: development of priority criteria (A report to the National Health Committee by Wayne Gillett and John Peek)
  4. Costs and Effectiveness of Infertility Services in New Zealand: A Decision Analysis (Wayne Gillett, John Peek, Richard Lilford)

I found the CPAC form (1) online last night, as part of research I was doing while writing my letter to the local MP. I couldn't believe it. All this time, and I tripped over it by accident!? Sigh. At least I have a copy now... although this one is dated 2001... remember that when we got scored to see if we were eligible for access, the fertility specialist would not give us a copy of the CPAC form? Yeah, well turns out there might be a sinister reason for that.

Document (2) is a thesis written in 2002, and I've only got a couple of pages into it so far. But it looks interesting so far, perhaps useful...

Documents (3) and (4) were perhaps the most brilliant "finds" after the CPAC form itself.  I knew they were in the local library at the tertiary institute where I work. I just couldn't figure out a way to get them without a) the librarian looking at me over her spectacles with a questioning face, and b) having those two reports forever listed on my library record at my place of employment. I don't feel ready to scare my *new* employer like that just yet!! :P

But I had a plan. A cunning plan, so cunning if you put a tail on it you could call it a weasel!

The work library is currently being renovated, and the students are still on holiday. The door is pretty much blocked off as the builders are busy sawing and nailing etc, but I chatted to one who let me into the dark library. There was only one staff member in there working in a back office, so I went quickly to the shelves to get the books. Then I photocopied them in their entireties. No permanent record. I have complete copies that I can scrawl all over at my leisure. Excamallent. :) Quite pleased with myself.

I wish I could put digital copies up here for you to read (should you need to), but they are super-long and it would take forever to scan them. If you are interested in reading them (i.e., you're in NZ and fighting an infertility treatment funding battle) contact me and we can discuss postage.

Basically, I am hoping that all of the documents and reports I've found will support our case that we believe we have been discriminated against and unfairly denied funding. So far so good, all the documents are working in our favour.

Now, I've been checking the Fertility Associates website about every month, just because they do put new information up there. Would you believe it - they have changed the rules for eligibility for access to public funding! They now state, in black and white on their website, that:

Factors which reduce CPAC score – but funding may be possible:

  • Having one child12 or younger living at home
  • Having had a vasectomy or tubal ligation.  Where one of the couple has had a vasectomy or tubal ligation, duration of infertility for CPAC scoring starts from when the couple first see a doctor about having a child.

OMG. That was NEVER up there before.  :(  And it is not a part of any of the other documents I've found, which deal with how to decide the rules! (My heart sinks. Hope once again tries to fly away.)

I think that Fertility Associates is being discriminatory; I think they are adding their own rules ON TOP OF THE CPAC FORM.

So, without an actual current CPAC form, with associated documentation to go with it, I can't be sure. I have a gut feeling, but I can't be sure.

And just out of interest, I scored us myself. Remember how the fertility specialist gave us a score of 60? Well, when I did it, I got 68. Which is a pass. Suck on that Fertility Associates!

/sorry, grumpy :(


I have just gotten off the phone with two lovely ladies from the hospital who's website published the CPAC form. I asked them: "You know that CPAC form for infertility you have on your website, it's dated 2001, is that the most current version of that form do you know?"

And lo and behold, the nice lady in Elective Services did know. Yes! It's current, Yes! They update them regularly. So that makes me hopeful again. Because it means that the fertility clinic, Fertility Associates, has less of a leg to stand on when they say the duration of infertility is calculated from the date of the first doctor's visit. Because NOWHERE on the CPAC form does it mention that. And NOWHERE in the documents (3) and (4) above does it say anything about it either. Because it's a stupid made-up rule of Fertility Associates, that they are using to weed out couples/people who don't fit the traditional notion of a pretty little infertile family. That's what I reckon anyway.

But yay! Now I know that the CPAC form I have is the current one! Everything just feels a little more stable and hopeful than it did when I read that bit on their website (see above).


  1. Wow you are quite the detective!! Good luck!

  2. Thank God you're tenacious. Your hard work will help others too - I know that's not your primary objective, but seriously? Their manipulation of "the rules" sucks. Lots.

    Happy New Year :)