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Fertility clinics | A dispute that stretches with Quebec

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The dispute between private clinics and the Government of Quebec concerning “Law 73”, ensuring free in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles, has been going on since November. One clinic has even withdrawn from the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ).

The Fertilys clinic, located in Laval, announced that it was disaffiliating from the RAMQ on January 12. She had already stopped offering services to women eligible for the new government program, since November.

“This means that from that moment on, patients will have access to all the services offered by Fertilys, as long as they agree to pay all the costs, without being able to obtain reimbursement from the RAMQ. However, they will still have access to the refundable tax credit,” said Dr.r Pierre Miron, president of Fertilys, in a video posted on the clinic’s Facebook page.

It is “a poorly put together program, without having sufficiently consulted the main stakeholders and, above all, without having concluded funding agreements with private centers”, pleaded the Dr Miron.

Pamela Fabios, patient at Fertilys, has made the decision to pay for all her care from now on. “I don’t have time, because of my age, 37, to put myself on the waiting lists for public clinics,” she said. “We will draw on our savings, and we will pay the necessary sums,” she continued.

Mme Fabios says the dispute between the government and fertility clinics has caused a lot of angst. She did not want to change the place of treatment, since the procedures performed in assisted reproduction are invasive.

“When you’re in a fertility process, you expose yourself to people you don’t know. We have several intravaginal ultrasounds a month. It’s still interventions that are embarrassing, then we develop a bond of trust with the team that treats us, ”she explained, in an interview with The Press.

“Personally, I find it very unfortunate. [que Fertilys] withdraws from the RAMQ, indicates Céline Braun, president of the Association infertilité Québec. These are patients who find themselves [placés] before another choice, again. It’s either I pay or I go somewhere else. »

I would really like that to be resolved as soon as possible for the patients. At least the services resume.

Céline Braun, president of the Quebec Infertility Association

At the same time, the operations of the Ovo clinics, in Montreal, and Procrea, in Quebec, are still suspended for this type of patient. These three clinics welcome 70% of infertile people in the province wishing to have a child.

A matter of money

On November 10, the Minister for Health and Social Services, Lionel Carmant, announced that Law 73 would come into force on November 15.

PHOTO EDOUARD PLANTE-FRÉCHETTE, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Lionel Carmant, Minister Delegate for Health and Social Services

First pleading a lack of information to set up the program, the three private clinics (Fertiltys, Ovo and Procrea) then argued that Quebec did not reimburse a sufficient sum to cover the costs of an IVF cycle. The government is offering $3,905, and the clinics are asking for $7,600 instead, said Sarah Bigras, Minister Carmant’s press attaché.

Thus, since November, Mme Paquet, who did not want to reveal her real first name because of the job she holds, could not receive treatment at the Procrea clinic.

What stresses me out is that I’m 40 and a few months old, and then I know that every month my body is getting older, and then I’m less and less likely to have good eggs.

Mme Paquet, in interview with The Press

She had to take hormones in anticipation of the assisted reproduction process, and suffered several side effects. “Then there, I experienced the opposite. It means that my body had a hard time not having the hormones anymore, ”she says. ” It is rough physically too,” added Mr.me Package.

The Procrea and Ovo clinics did not announce their withdrawal from RAMQ, as Fertilys did. Could these two clinics take the same turn?

When a clinic withdraws from the RAMQ, each doctor who practices there must do the same individually, explains Céline Braun. Thus, a professional who works in a private clinic and in a hospital that decides to withdraw from the RAMQ could no longer work in the hospital, which belongs to the public sector.

“It happens frequently at Ovo [et] Procrea that you have the same doctor who operates both in the private clinic and in the public, ”she said, stressing that she did not know what decision the establishments would make.

The government’s assisted reproduction program reimburses a single cycle of in vitro fertilization, which may include two ovarian stimulations, an ovarian puncture, a semen straw from a donor, a surgical sperm retrieval, freezing and storage of additional embryos for one year, as well as the transfer of each embryo.

Since the adoption of the program, Quebec also covers other services for women or couples who do not use in vitro fertilization to give birth, including ovarian stimulation and a maximum of six semen straws from a donor bank.

A new “discriminatory” law, for some

Marie-Ève ​​Ouellet’s fertility treatments have not been stopped. However, as she is 41, she cannot access the government’s gratuity scheme, which covers women under 41. This clause is “discriminatory”, according to Mr.me Ouellet.

“You have to be financially strong,” she said. According to her, the program thus generates a “loss of accessibility” to the service.

Before the implementation of the new law, she was followed at the Center hospitalier de l’Université Laval. She had to transfer her file to Procrea, which caused her to miss an ovulation cycle.

Minister Lionel Carmant’s office did not respond to questions from The Press Friday, as well as the Association des fertologues du Québec.

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