After years of waiting, women trying to get pregnant finally got some much needed good news. Starting this spring, the province will cover up to 3 cycles of IVF for all women of reproductive age.
"We want the people who want children and cannot have children to have the possibility to have them",
said Quebec Health Minister Yves Bolduc at a press conference Thursday.
Quebec doctors perform about 2000 in vitro fertilizations per year. But there is a demand for 8000. There are about 6000 not being performed because people just can't afford it said Bolduc.
As it stands now, couples trying to get pregnant have to pay around $10,000 for IVF.
But it doesn't always take. Getting pregnant with one baby can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
The head of McGill's Reproductive Center, Dr. Dr. Hananel Holzer is only too familiar of the pains women go through to have children.
" I had someone on my office who was bursting with tears she saved for one year to have one IVF cycle she got pregant we were all happy and then she miscarried she's now turning 40 and she's frustrated doesn't know what to do next ."
The announcement is great news for the infertility patient support groups.
"I spoke to women who literally would cut their arms off to have a child", said Beverly Hanck, executive director of Infertility Awareness Association of Canada.
Quebec is the only place in North America with a program funding IVF's.
Worldwide though, countries like Israel, Belgium, France and Australia to name just a few have had similar programs for years.
Hanck says Quebec is now light years ahead of the rest of North America.
" Quebec funding IVF's just like other countries have done it and I have no idea what the other provinces are waiting for "
The new programme will cost 32 million dollars a year, and will go up to 80 million dollars a year as hospitals and clinics increase their ability to perform more procedures.
But there is one hitch, a new single embryo protocol is being put into place. Bolduc says there will be exceptions depending on the viability of the embryos.
Women under 36 will get up to two embryo insertions, women over 37 will get as many as 3.
Up until now, doctors were inserting as many as five viable embryos in the hopes that one would take.
Thirty percent of IVF's in this province result in multiple births.
The government is hoping to decrease that number to 5 percent.
" At this moment we will save money in neonatology because there will be less mutliple births in intensive care", said Bolduc.
" We're supposed to save 29 or 30 million dollars for treatment we're giving to the premature babies."
More babies and healthier ones, a dose of much needed good news for Quebec's medical system.