Canadians are increasingly traveling abroad for major surgeries and procedures. In fact, over 150,000 combine an exotic vacation with a surgical procedure each year.
If you assume that they must be traveling for something that is illegal to have done in Canada or to have cosmetic surgery in secret, you’d be wrong.
Medial tourism is popular for a variety of reasons and that popularity is increasing every day. So, what do people have done?
- Bariatric procedures: This type of surgery is popular for privacy and cost issues but many foreign countries also have a slightly different type of gastric bypass than what is currently available in North America. The results can be better with this variation.
- Fertility: Couples that struggle with fertility not only have an emotional strain but also a financial one. The cost of an IVF procedure is over $12,000 per attempt and it is well-known that many procedures may be necessary to get the desired results. This can quickly drain a bank account. On the other hand, an exotic trip to Argentina can include a quick tango and an IVF for just $4,000.
- Cosmetic Surgery: A perennial favorite, many foreign countries offer first-rate plastic surgeons at rock bottom prices. From tummy tucks to face lifts, you can look better for less with medical tourism. (NOTE: Cosmetic surgery is not eligible under Canada Smart Plan unless “medically required”.)
- Dentistry: Most people wouldn’t think of traveling anywhere but to the corner dentist to have some dental work done but many procedures, especially dental implants and veneers, are expensive at home. In fact, many insurance companies will not even cover cosmetic procedures. If you want a pretty smile, a trip overseas may be just the ticket. In fact, the price tag will have you grinning from ear to ear all the way home.
- Stem Cell Research: Controversial in North America, stem cell research is moving forward rapidly in other parts of the world. In fact, Singapore has a state-of-the-art research center and many people suffering from diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s have traveled there for advanced help.
- Cardiac: Let’s face it, you only have one heart. You have to take care of it, and while most cardiac procedures are covered by your MSP, you may not want to wait. But will having it done privately in Canada, financially bankrupt your family in the process? It sounds pretty awful to say that you cannot afford to live. A better answer would be to travel to places like India, where the same procedures can be done for up to 90% off. See the country, fix your heart and move on with your life. Save your money.
- Cancer Treatment: It is no longer just the rich and famous that travel abroad for the latest cancer treatments. Again, cancer treatments in Canada are covered by MSP but the options available for that coverage may not be the treatments you want. The affordability of international travel overseas for treatment is a viable option, if not a necessity.
You see there is a large variety of options for medical tourism and it’s not just for those who are elite or extravagant. Medical tourism is one of the best ways to get what you need done when you can’t afford it or just save you from spending everything you do have to keep your health. Always do your research and take responsibility for your own health, you’ll find the options are not quite as limited as you may have originally thought.
Many traditional insurance plans and Provincial coverage excludes these choices. Most of these can be claimed on your Canada Smart Plan. Not only can you save significantly by arranging these services with highly regarded professionals in other countries, but if you are a Canadian business owner or self employed professional you can save an additional 30 to 40% through Canada Smart Plan. Our plan is free to set up, takes just a few minutes to do so, and is easy and convenient to use.