Procrea Gatineau: infertile couples in the Outaouais say they are disappointed and misunderstood

The decision will force infertile couples in the region to shell out their pockets for fertility services, it is complained. This is what Procréa Gatineau announced in the hours following the government’s decision on Wednesday.

Seeing itself obliged to become non-participant in the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ), the fertility clinic will have to impose fees, as of July 18, in order to be able to continue to offer current services.

To benefit from the coverage and reimbursements of the public plan, couples from the Outaouais region will have to travel 200 kilometers east, to Montreal.

It’s a shock wavesaid in an interview with Radio-Canada, Léonie Bourassa, a Gatineau resident who wants to access services here in the region. We have been hoping for good news on this side for months. Basically, what this forces us to do is to withdraw from our option B, which is to consult a clinic in Montreal.

Obviously, that means another delay and a lot of waiting, because there are several months of waiting in the Montreal clinics. »

A quote from Leonie Bourassa

For insemination, it’s two to three appointments for each protocol, each month. So my spouse and I will have to take time off in a week to go to Montreal to take the samples, tests and ultrasounds. It’s a lot of costs related to that and a lot of stresscontinues Ms. Bourassa.

Another option for infertile couples in the area is to go to a clinic in Ottawa across the Ottawa River. This is the choice that Marie-Renée Laframboise, a mother from Cantley, made for the birth of her first boy.

Marie-Renée Laframboise, mother who has already used the services of Procrea Gatineau.

Photo: Radio-Canada

The only drawback, she recalls, is that the procedural costs are not reimbursed by the RAMQ. For her second boy, she chose without hesitation to follow her fertility treatments at Procrea Gatineau, which at the time had just opened its doors.

We no longer had any headaches to say to ourselves: are we doing this in Montreal or financially, are we starting to prepare a budget to return to Ottawa?recalls Ms. Laframboise.

Certainly, for a family that wants children, Procrea Gatineau was ideal. »

A quote from Marie-Renee Laframboise

The mother finds it unfortunate that the clinic was unable to obtain her license to practice. Moving to Montreal makes the whole process unnecessarily stressful, she says. Ms. Laframboise does not understand the department’s decision.

There is not really any reason to concentrate services in Montreal. We are still a big center. Gatineau is one of the five largest cities in Quebecshe points out.

Marie-Renée Laframboise believes that this decision could shatter the dreams of infertile couples who are trying to have a child. If they don’t have the financial means, in vitro fertilization is very expensive. Not everyone has that budget!

The Procrea Gatineau fertility clinic

Photo: Radio-Canada / Rémi Authier

The owner of the Procrea Gatineau clinic, Dr. Éric Himaya, pleaded his case before the Minister responsible for the Outaouais and Minister of Families, Mathieu Lacombe, Thursday afternoon.

When the Quebec decision was made on Wednesday, he denounced this ministerial choice which once again favors patients from large cities like Quebec and Montreal to the detriment of those from Gatineau. That’s what surprises me, I didn’t expect that at all!commented Dr. Himaya.

At the end of his meeting with Minister Lacombe, however, Dr. Himaya had very little to say about the content of this interview, preferring to let things progress before making any further comments.

A CISSSO assisted procreation project

The Outaouais Integrated Health and Social Services Center (CISSSO) has presented, according to the Ministry of Health, its own project to develop medically assisted procreation services (PMA).

If it were to be carried out, this project would allow expanded access to the population of the region and will also facilitate access to 3rd line services by having an agreement with a public tertiary center (McGill University Health Centre) and will allow adequate use of public assisted procreation centers (APCs)says the ministry.

Called to say more, the CISSS de l’Outaouais preferred not to comment, since the project is still at an embryonic stage.

It is too early to provide more detailssays Patricia Rhéaume, Information and Media Relations Officer at the CISSS of the Outaouais. Several steps still remain to be taken.

Meanwhile, a petition (New window) which asks the Minister of Health Christian Dubé to reverse the decision and to finance in vitro fertilization at the Procrea clinic in Gatineau has collected nearly 400 signatures online.

We ask the government to reconsider their decisionexplains Sandrine Bédard, a mother from Gatineau who is one of the signatories. We are asking not to take away a couple’s right to have a family.

Sandrine Bédard is a mother who used the services of the Procrea Gatineau clinic.

Photo: Radio-Canada

Speaking from her own experience, the young woman is categorical: she would not have had a second child if she had not had access to the services of Procrea Gatineau.

We went to see Éric at Procréa Gatineau, it was day and nightsays the mother of three who has experienced difficult pregnancies requiring close follow-ups. It was much easier to use these services here in Gatineau than having to travel to Montreal.

Proximity, she continues, is a major issue in our dream of becoming parents.

It is a lifelong dream to start a family. »

A quote from Leonie Bourassa

The Procrea Gatineau clinic is essential in the Outaouais. We are thousands who are waiting, it’s not a superfluous need, it’s a real needargues Léonie Bourrassa. It is important that the service be granted and be accessible in the Outaouais, it is really a crying need.

With information from Rémi Authier and Alexandra Angers

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