For Canadian fertility patients, particularly those in Ontario and Quebec, 2014 has been eventful. In April, Ontario Health Minister Deb Mathews announced that an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) funding program would be implemented in Ontario. After the general election, the policy was confirmed. This was followed by the introduction of Bill 20 in November in Quebec. Residents of the province were shocked by a bill that would significantly scale back IVF.
Bill 20 was tabled on Friday November 28 by Quebec Health Minister Dr.Gaétan Barrette proposing to drastically cut funding for IVF. If the bill passes, the province would move from funding IVF
universally to only covering intrauterine insemination (IUI), fertility preservation for cancer patients, and giving tax rebates to childless women in specific age ranges. While Quebec’s decision to scale back it’s world leading IVF funding program is disappointing, Dr. Arthur Leader chooses to look on the bright side: “Even though the Quebec Premier and Health Minister are opposed to and had significant reservations about funded IVF, they realized the value of funding IVF and have kept some funding in place.”
Although it is uncertain as to whether this news will have an affect on the Ontario’s future IVF program, the Government of Ontario appears committed to going forward with it’s promise to contribute to the cost of one IVF cycle (fresh and all subsequent frozen transfers) as well as an undefined number of IUI cycles.
As always, OFC welcomes all Quebec patients who wish to have fertility care in Ottawa, and we encourage you to contact us for a consultation and fertility treatment. Quebec patients can self- refer and do not need a referral from a doctor, as the new law will make it illegal for a Quebec physician refer a patient outside Quebec to do something prohibited in Quebec. Finally, patients who wish to qualify for the Quebec tax credit will need to follow the provinces’ rules.