A doctor says that Quebec continues to lag behind other provinces in the use of the abortion pill. However, this option is becoming more democratic, even in communities in northern Quebec, where it has only recently become available. At a conference at a Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) held on Monday, Dr. Edith Guilbert argued that it was because of “non-evidence-based regulatory barriers” that the implementation of drug-based abortion was not “optimal” in the province, unlike Ontario and British Columbia, where it is “a success.” The doctor talked about the Mifegymiso abortion pill.
“There is a gap between what is happening in Quebec and what is happening in other regions of Canada,” she also said in an interview.
Quebec accounts for nearly 23% of the Canadian population, however, according to data collected by Dr. Guilbert, only 5% of the doses of Mifegymiso abortion pill sold in Canada have been purchased by residents of Quebec since the product became available.
On the other hand, the Quebec doctors interviewed by the researcher showed a great disinterest in using the abortion pill. “It sounds very complicated,” one of them commented. “It looks like we have it, but we don’t use it,” added another.
For Dr. Edith Guilbert, it is clear that there is a “significant gap” in Quebec regarding the Mifegymiso abortion pill
She questions the requirements of the College of Medics in Quebec (CMQ), which require physicians who do not already practice in family planning clinics to complete an internship in one of these clinics before prescribing the abortion pill.
“There are also other challenges, such as access to ultrasound and service corridors,” says Dr. Guilbert.
The Secretary of the CMQ, Dr. Yves Robert, informed that between 20 and 30 physicians had requested an internship to be able to integrate the abortion pill into their practice. Depending on the objectives and the physician’s experience, this internship can vary in length from one to a few days.
For the CMQ, it is “too early” to conclude that Quebec is behind in the Mifegymiso abortion pill adoption.
“You have to understand that this option is a recent one. It is gradually taking hold, and more and more doctors will offer it,” says Dr. Robert who believes that, by February 2019, about 40 abortion clinics in Quebec would adopt it.