What Canadian Family Physicians Need to Know About Medical Tourism

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Broadly speaking, medical tourism involves patients intentionally going abroad to pursue medical services outside of formal cross-border care arrangements that are typically paid for out-of-pocket. Orthopedic, dental, cosmetic, transplant, and other surgeries are offered by hospitals around the world looking to attract international patients, with such procedures often available for purchase as part of “package deals” that include recovery stays at affiliated tourist resorts or hotels. In this commentary we synthesize what we believe are the 10 most important issues of concern for Canadian family physicians regarding Canadian patients’ involvement in medical tourism. In effect, our intent is to reignite discussion on the relevance of medical tourism to Canadian family medicine that was started by the 2007 commentary by Leigh Turner (Can Fam Physician 2007;53:1639-41) and to use this as an opportunity to inform Canadian family physicians about key issues of current concern. We believe it is particularly timely to reignite discussion about medical tourism in the Canadian context given recent reports of a new “super-bug” (NDM-1 [New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase]) having been contracted by some Canadian medical tourists who underwent surgery in India in 2010.
This article is free to read from the website of the Canadian Family Physician. Copyright in the article resides with Canadian Family Physician.
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Crooks, Valorie A. and Jeremy Snyder. "What Canadian Family Physicians Need to Know About Medical Tourism." Canadian Family Physician, 57 (5): 527-529.
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Canadian Family Physician
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What Canadian Family Physicians Need to Know About Medical Tourism
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