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MEDICAL TOURISM TO CANADA

According to an article (Canada a mecca for medical tourism?) published in TheStar.com on October 13, 2007, Canada has the potential to become the next medical tourism destination.

Eliminating wait times in Canada’s health care system would allow this country to become a mecca for medical “tourists,” the president of the Canadian Medical Association said yesterday.

“Consider that the biggest consumers in the $40 billion medical tourism business are Americans,” Day told a meeting of the Empire Club in Toronto, referring to people who travel out of their country to seek specialized medical care.

“This is a potentially massive new industry for Canada (but) a prerequisite is the elimination of our wait times.”

Day said Americans travel to far-flung places like India, Thailand and Russia for more novel or cheaper medical procedures than they can obtain in their own country.

“By changing our focus we, too, could soon tap into that market and reap the rewards for our public system,” he said.

“Since Canada has virtually no non-government hospital infrastructure, the potential income from medical tourism will benefit public hospitals and unionized hospital workers. Naysayer union leaders need to reflect on this matter.”

More at TheStar.com

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