Almost 46,000 Canadians sought medical care outside Canada in 2015: study

The number of Canadians seeking non-emergency medical treatment outside their own country continues to climb year-after-year with the most recent study by the Fraser Institute suggesting 45,619 did so in 2015.

The Fraser Institute did not indicate how many Canadians went to the United States, only that they went outside their own country. Its study says wait times are among the likely reasons some Canadians seek treatment elsewhere. The institute’s own research found patients waited an average of 9.8 weeks for medically necessary treatment in 2015 after seeing a specialist — which itself often takes months, even more than a year.

Estimated number of patients that received treatment outside of Canada, 2015 (by province):

Ontario: 22,352

British Columbia: 10,315

Alberta: 4,616

Quebec: 3,360

Nova Scotia: 1,466

New Brunswick: 894

Saskatchewan: 712

Manitoba: 702

Prince Edward Island: 52

Newfoundland and Labrador: 1

Estimated number of patients by specialty:

Urology: 4,974

Ophthalmology: 4,635

General Surgery: 4,495

Internal Medicine: 3,959

Orthopedic Surgery: 3,259


Canada’s government-run health care system – Medicare -- is a monopoly that prohibits private hospital and private physician care. Medicare is a subpar performer, ranking 10th among 11 advanced countries. Canadians deserve much better! Patients deserve timely access to quality care and choice of hospitals and physicians. Taxpayers deserve much more value for their tax dollars.

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