Funded IVF treatment leaves nurses and potential patients with questions
One day after Health Minister Yves Bolduc's announcement Quebec will fund in-vitro fertilization treatment, the reproductive centre at the Royal Victoria Hospital has been flooded with phone calls from prospective parents.
The provincial government announced Tuesday it would foot the bill for three IVF treatments for Quebec women as of Aug. 5, growing to a potential 7,000 cycles by 2014, and costing up to $64 million annually.
Infertile couples lined up Wednesday to register for the program, despite clinics lacking specific guidelines from the government.
Until then, patients will not be placed on a waiting list.
"We don't have the final (plans) from the government and we're hoping to get this in a relatively short period, but for now we're trying our best to answer the questions," said Francine Belisle, nurse manager of the McGill Reproductive Centre.
Bolduc said guidelines are pending.
"We are going to start to pay on the 5th of August. Until then, we're going to inform the clinics, and I think they can take the names of the (potential patients) and they can call back then," he said.
For hopeful mothers like Karine Gosselin, the prospect of being placed on a waiting list is not worth the critical time it may take her to conceive.
Gosselin paid more than $5000 to begin her treatment next week.
"I could have waited, but (if) the appointments are filling up. I might have had to wait until December," she said.
Dr. Henry Malter, director of the McGill reproductive centre, said current patients come first.
"Our first priority is to deal with patients that are currently in treatment or that were are about to start. We have to deal with them first. At the same time, we're developing a way to deal with this new influx of patients that are coming in," he said.