Institut Marquès Barcelona, much more than a fertility clinic.
By Andrew Coutts
Institut Marquès is an internationally renowned centre for Gynaecology, Obstetrics and Assisted Reproduction. Employing over two hundred professionals it has been working in the field for 95 years.
It has recently relocated its headquarters in Barcelona – it is a breath-taking clinic which breaks the mould in terms of design, latest technologies, care and services. You are welcomed not by a traditional reception but a vast ‘mall like’ space which encompasses a shop, a working area, restaurant, children's play area and a dedicated ‘Chill Out’ space.
In addition to the treatments offered in the clinic it offers ‘guests’ a wide range of bespoke, concierge led services including VIP tours around Barcelona, discounts at hotels, massage and acupuncture therapies – for those with a bigger budget you can even exclusively book space at the clinic to ensure total privacy.
Innovation, environment and a lot of music
Institut Marquès invests heavily in research and development and uses the most advanced technology available – all of which is on full show to guests who are encouraged to view the work of the biology team through transparent laboratory walls.
If the laboratory is the heart of the clinic, music is its lungs, from the giant notes which spiral down from the roof of the four-story clinic to the guest pods which are made more homely and comfortable with music of your choice. Institut Marquès recognises the importance of music and is currently involved in several studies examining how music effects the very beginnings of life by the influence it has on embryonic and foetal development. A recent concert held for its embryos by international artists Antonio Orozco and Sharon Corrs was no publicity stunt – increasingly music is being viewed as an important part of maintaining and developing life in its earliest stages.
The practical application of research outcomes is something the clinic is very proud of and is aptly demonstrated in its ‘Embryo Forest’ initiative. Following research documenting the negative impact that pollution has on health and fertility the clinic chose the Tarragona region of Spain to plant an Embryo forest. The area was identified because men from the region were statistically more likely to have a lower semen quality than those living in other areas of Spain. Work has now started to plant a tree for each child that is born with the help of Institut Marquès and it is hoped that 1,500 trees will be planted in the area to symbolise life and rebirth.
We cannot get away with the fact that the fertility industry is ‘big business’ – more and more individuals and couples are experiencing fertility issues. As demand increases it is inevitable that the numbers of treatment providers will grow and like any business there will always be those seeking to capitalise on lucrative markets.
Not all fertility clinics however should be tarnished by the activities of the few. There are far more ‘good’ ones than ‘bad’ and there are some excellent examples of how income has been redistributed to make treatments more successful; enhance the patient experience and contribute to advancing scientific knowledge. Some, like Institut Marquès go further and acknowledge and accept their social and corporate responsibility to invest in future generations.
For every single cash cow there are numerous ethical, transparent and effective treatment providers that have the patient/guest/client at the heart of everything they do.
Institut Marquès is one of the latter.