Montreal

Gaétan Barrette may backtrack on banning IVF for women over 42

Health Minister Gaétan Barrette appears open to changing one of the controversial elements of Bill 20 — setting an age limit on IVF treatment.

Bill 20 health care reforms include major changes to Quebec's in vitro fertilization program

Health Minister Gaétan Barrette's Bill 20 has come under criticism from some health care groups. (Jacques Boissinot/CP)

Health Minister Gaétan Barrette appears open to changing one of the controversial elements in Bill 20.

Quebec might not set an age limit of 42 for in vitro fertilization treatment after all.

Among the options on the table are said to be raising the age limit, allowing doctors to decide or dropping it altogether.

But while Barrette might be ready to backtrack on that issue, he said he remains firm on most elements of the bill, including the patient quotas for family doctors.

Quebec launched its publicly funded IVF program in 2010. 

Initially budgeted at $30 million, the program ballooned to nearly $70 million last year.

The Liberal government decided it wasn't sustainable and tabled Bill 20 last November. The legislation would put an end to fully funded treatment and restrict who can access it.

Bill 20 could be passed as early as this spring.

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