The B.C. government’s decision to fund contraception products is very welcome news. The history of efforts to reach this point go back well over a decade, notably with a report submitted to the then-Liberal government by Options for Sexual Health (OPT).
That government refused to even evaluate the recommendations made by OPT. What reporting of the current government’s decision has failed to note is the power of this investment to save significant public expenditure in other areas such as social services, related health services and income supports.
Other countries that have taken this step have reported a return on investment of as much as $5 for every dollar spent on providing contraception to their citizens.
OPT’s report predicted more modest returns for B.C., but by any calculations I am aware of, removing cost barriers to contraception is a positive investment for government.
Improving access to competent and non-judgmental sexual health education in all provincial schools would be a useful next step; in this regard OPT offers Canada’s only comprehensive sexual health educator training program.
Greg Smith, White Rock