The government in Quebec announced Tuesday it will help cover the cost of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments for infertile couples, the first offer of government subsidization for the costly infertility procedure in North America, CBC news reported.

Quebec couples who cannot conceive naturally will be eligible for three free rounds of IVF treatments, which can cost up to CA$15,000 (US$14,531) for a single treatment, Quebec Health Minister Yves Bolduc said.

The subsidized fertility program is expected to cost the government CA$35 million (US$33.9 million) per year, with expenses rising to about CA$63 million in four years.

Doctors associations in Quebec expressed opposition to the program, citing more pressing needs in Canada's publicly funded health care system.

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