Thank you for your question!
First of all, it’s important to know if you’ve been outside of Quebec for more than 183 days (6 months), you will be subject to a waiting period (“délai de carence”) of three months between applying for health insurance (RAMQ) and receiving your insurance card. If you were in another province in Canada, you can usually continue to use the insurance card of that province until you receive your new Quebec card. You can also receive your new Quebec card earlier if you had health insurance in one of the following countries before coming back here: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden.
If you are subject to the three months waiting period and don’t have insurance during this time, the Head&Hands clinic should be able to provide you with medical care and renew your HRT prescription. They’re currently closed for a period of 6 weeks, but will reopen on May 17.
If you have health insurance when you arrive in Québec, the easiest route would be to go to a walk-in clinic to get a referral to see an endocrinologist. If you’re in Montreal or close by, you can then email this referral to the Clinique d’endocrinologie de Montréal, mentioning in the email that you’re already on HRT. I have confirmed with them that in this case you don’t need a letter from a mental health professional, but they have also proven not to read their emails with a lot of attention. So if they respond by saying that you need a reference letter from a therapist, state again that you don’t need one because you are already on HRT.
You could also call the clinics in Montreal that offer the “informed consent” model for access to HRT. They have huge waiting lists, but they sometimes prioritize patients that are already on HRT (whether it be black market HRT or outside of Quebec prescriptions). The clinics are:
- Clinique médicale 1851
- Clinique accueil santé de Laval
- Clinique médicale La Licorne
- Clinique l’Actuel
- Centre médical Louvain
- Meraki Health Centre / Centre médical Meraki
If you live outside of Montreal, you can get referred to the local endocrinologist who is appointed to see trans people. I can help you figure out who that is if you need.
In any case, if you are able to get a letter from the person who is/will be prescribing you HRT where you are right now, it could facilitate the handover of your care when you arrive here.
I hope this helps, don’t hesitate to contact us again if you have any questions.
Séré, outreach worker for AlterHéros