In 2017, a report by the Calgary-based think tank SecondStreet.Org showed that 217,500 Canadians sought medical care outside of Canada, and the numbers are said to be much higher this year, now that the government has eased COVID-19 restrictions on travel.   

Why Canadians Are Traveling to Other Countries for Healthcare

Many factors are responsible for the increase in outbound medical tourism in Canada, including the high cost of procedures that aren’t fully covered by government healthcare plans and medical treatments that aren’t available in the country.

One of the most prominent reasons is Canada’s long wait times for medical care. Although wait times depend on the type of treatment and procedure, Canadian medical tourism statistics reveal that people waiting for medically necessary plastic surgery face a wait time of about 41.6 weeks, and those waiting for orthopedic surgery face a waiting time of approximately 39.1 weeks. The province of Ontario has the shortest total wait times, requiring patients to wait 18.5 weeks on average.

Consequently, an increasing number of Canadians are visiting other countries with shorter healthcare wait times, even if it requires paying more.

Common Procedures and Popular Medical Tourism Destinations 

Since the Canadian healthcare system does not cover dental and optical health, many residents go abroad for treatments in these categories. They also travel for cancer treatments, cosmetic, orthopedic, and bariatric surgeries.

Canadians are seeking healthcare in various countries. Some popular destinations are Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand, and India.

Starting a Medical Tourism Agency That Coordinates Trips for Canadians

Long wait times and the high cost for certain medical procedures are enhancing the expansion of outbound medical tourism in Canada. This trend has provided an opportunity for entrepreneurial-minded individuals seeking to tap into the billion-dollar medical travel industry.

Establishing a medical tourism agency can be very rewarding if done efficiently. Agents coordinate medical trips for their clients; they educate clients on key aspects of the medical trip and guide them while they are abroad. A good agent should cater to their client’s needs by scheduling doctor appointments, flights, lodging, and other activities.

Building a Reputable Medical Tourism Company

Creating a reputable medical tourism company is crucial to attracting medical tourists. The best way to show credibility as a startup is by obtaining a medical tourism facilitator certification and displaying the seal on your social platforms and website. Trust symbols like industry training symbols make a great first impression on potential partners and clients.

Reach Your Full Potential in Medical Tourism with MTB

At MTB, we are dedicated to supporting professionals and organizations in the medical tourism industry as they strive for success. As a leading provider of certification, contracts, marketing, and support, we offer comprehensive programs, expert guidance, and valuable resources that are designed to help our members achieve their goals and reach their full potential in the global healthcare market. With a focus on excellence and innovation, we help our members stay ahead of the competition and navigate the complex and dynamic world of medical tourism.

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