Is Medical Tourism Legal in Canada?

Health care services in Canada and around the world, are under strain. According to CBC News, only 15% of Canadians are satisfied with access to care. With the medical industry struggling to make up time following the pandemic, more and more patients are being left waiting for necessary medical procedures. For many individuals left on wait lists, getting care quickly is worth the price of travel — but is it allowed? In the past, travelling for medical purposes has been seen as something that is looked down upon, or potentially illegal. If you are considering seeking health care abroad but are wondering if medical tourism is legal, the answer is yes.

For residents of British Columbia, it is not permitted to seek private medical services within the province, but it is okay to seek care in other provinces. While you don’t have to leave the country for medical care, it is often quick and easy to visit the United States or other accepting nations for medical care or surgical procedures.

medical tourism

Medical Care Abroad: Working With Reputable Agencies

While seeking a medical treatment or procedure abroad is legal, there are risks associated with that type of travel. Even if your health insurance covers travel for the purposes of receiving medical care, it can be difficult to navigate costs and travel plans, and even more difficult to find a clinic, surgical centre or even medical professionals to perform procedures.

Travelling is a way to contend with long wait times but the quality of care should always be of top concern. No matter the amount of research that you might do on a procedure or facility, it cannot compare to the insights and advice provided by reputable travel tourism agencies.

Check Facilities: By working with agencies such as Venture Surgical, patients have access to a wide network of medical professionals in a variety of specialities across a range of disciplines.

Organize Travel: Even an experienced traveller may be overwhelmed when booking flights and accommodation for the purposes of a medical procedure. Depending on location, medical tourists might find it difficult to communicate their needs, or book flights and transportation. In the case of travelling to another province, travel is quick and easy.

Consider After-Care: Many medical procedures are not done in a day. In the event that you are having to manage after-care, it is better to stay nearby to your attending physician. This might mean a prolonged hospital stay or finding a hotel nearby where you can relax and recover. Depending on the type of surgery that you have had, you may have different needs for your flight back. An experienced agent can help to organize a comfortable stay and flight.

Not only its medical tourism legal, it is becoming more accepted by governing bodies and even insurance agencies. Insurance providers are acknowledging the inconvenience and health risks associated with prolonged wait times and with that, are offering full or at least partial portions of payments into their standard coverage scheme.

Seeking Medical Care in Other Countries: Established Practices

The concept of medical tourism might seem new because it has only made mainstream media platforms within the last several years. In fact, Canada has been a medical destination for patients from other countries seeking more advanced medical treatments. Now, with advancements in technology happening in new areas, Canadians are travelling everywhere from the United States to surrounding areas in North America.

Every province has varying availability for different procedures. While the desired treatments will change from patient to patient, travel and organization are always key. Whether you are traveling from British Columbia to Ontario in search of shorter wait times, or are seeking more cost-effective treatments in an international environment, Venture Surgical can help.

Is Medical Tourism Legal in Canada?