- Feb 10, 2005
- Reaction score
- Montgomery, Al
Report: Thousands fled Canada for health care in 2011
7/11/12 | Michael Bastasch
A Canadian study released Wednesday found that many provinces in our neighbor to the North have seen patients fleeing the country and opting for medical treatment in the United States.
The nonpartisan Fraser Institute reported that 46,159 Canadians sought medical treatment outside of Canada in 2011, as wait times increased 104 percent — more than double — compared with statistics from 1993.
Specialist physicians surveyed across 12 specialties and 10 provinces reported an average total wait time of 19 weeks between the time a general practitioner refers a patient and the time a specialist provides elective treatment — the longest they have ever recorded.
In 2011, Canadians enrolled in the nation’s government-dominated health service waited long periods of time for an estimated 941,321 procedures. As many as 2.8 percent of Canadians were waiting for treatment at any given time, according to the Institute.
“In some cases, these patients needed to leave Canada due to a lack of available resources or a lack of appropriate procedure/technology,” according to the Institute. “In others, their departure will have been driven by a desire to return more quickly to their lives, to seek out superior quality care, or perhaps to save their own lives or avoid the risk of disability.”
Increases in the number of patients leaving Canada for treatment were seen in seven of the ten Canadian provinces: British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Some of these patients will have been sent out of country by the public health care system due to a lack of available resources or the fact that some procedures or equipment are not provided in their home jurisdiction,” the report concluded.