A new, state-of-the-art fertility treatment center is coming to Victoria, bringing much-needed services to Vancouver Island.
The clinic, Olive Fertility Victoria, will open in the James Bay area behind the BC legislature.
The facility will make it possible for islanders to finish a critical stage of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process, without having to travel off Vancouver Island.
“The most important thing that’s needed for a full service IVF clinic is an embryology lab,” said Dr. Ginevra Mills with Olive Fertility.
“It allows us to take eggs out of women’s ovaries and take sperm and mix those together in a laboratory setting, and allows embryos to grow.”
Mills says a service like this hasn’t existed on Vancouver Island since 2019.
Local mom Ayah Grant says she and her husband spent more than $20,000 to conceive their child, plus thousands more to travel to Vancouver, the nearest destination for help.
“You’re spending all of this money to make sure that everything is done at the right time, at the right hour, at the right date,” she said.
Grant says she’s happy a new fertility clinic is opening in Victoria so that other islanders won’t have to repeat the same experience.
Renee Merrifield, BC’s Gender Equity and Inclusion critic, says the new clinic is an important step, but that more can be done.
“This is a great game-changer to get fertility treatment closer, but the next step will be to get it covered by MSP,” she said.
The BC NDP government has said it values IVF treatment, but that the reason it’s not covered by MSP is because of a lack of available funds.
The new Olive Fertility Clinic is expected to open in 2023. Once it opens, the clinic’s current satellite office on Yates Street will move there as well.