One of the main reasons Canadians seek medical care outside their country is because of the wait time they face. Some ailments, seen as elective, cosmetic, bariatric, or non-emergent often have to wait months to be treated.
COVID-19 is shockingly not the direct cause of these wait times and the Canadian Medicare has median wait times of up to 25.6 weeks, according to the Fraser Institute, who advised that wait time is the longest ever recorded. The total wait time for patients who have been referred to specialists can range anywhere from 46 to 49 weeks. The longest wait times are found in the Neurosurgery and Orthopedics departments. Whether facing an emergency, simply wishing to undergo any type of elective surgery, issues related to the pandemic and/or necessary treatments when recovering from Covid 19, Medical Tourism Insurance offers an immediate solution.
These wait times can be extremely detrimental to the patient and their families as waiting for a necessary procedure can exacerbate the injury, causing both physical and mental pain and suffering along with the unlikelihood of the patient being able to work. Also, the damage that pain medication can do to the patient’s body is only worsened by the extended time.
A recent conversation with a Canadian patient needing surgery to remove an edema on the adrenal gland showed how difficult the wait times can be on a person’s body. If they wait until Canadian Medicare performs the surgery, they will more than likely require an adrenalectomy. This is highly preventable. Traveling to the US allows the patient to have the edema removed and the adrenal gland continues to function properly. The adrenal gland controls many processes of the body including making cortisone and adrenaline which manage blood pressure, heart rate, metabolism, etc. Removing the adrenal gland would require being on hormone supplements for the rest of their lives.
Endometriosis, a painful disorder where tissue grows outside of the uterus and can encompass ovaries, fallopian tubes, and intestines, causing debilitating chronic pain and infertility. 1 in 10 women in Canada have endometriosis and the wait time for an invasive procedure to remove tissue and assist in pain management can be anywhere from 2 to 4 years. Due to the chronic pain and length of wait times, some women have had to quit their jobs. By choosing Medical Travel, they can have a procedure that will alleviate pain quickly and not affect their annual income.
What precautions should a patient take when going abroad to receive care from a Medical Tourism Insurance policy?
They should discuss and read the policy to confirm how broad their coverage is and how far their limits go.
Another tip is talking with the medical provider or Medical Travel Insurance agent about what documents, clothing, etc. may be needed while they are abroad. Consider what you may need if you are going to travel for pleasure after your procedure has been completed. Medical Travel Insurance provides the option of including a travel companion within your coverage who can assist you after surgery. Adding a travel companion to your policy will allow them coverage in case of a medical emergency, travel delay or cancellation, and loss of baggage.
You might also be interested in: Impact of COVID-19 on health mobility, medical tourism and the insurance options for coverage.