Medical Tourism: An Opportunity for Canada?

The Conference Board of Canada, May 5, 2015
Recorded Webinar
(You must be signed in and entitled to rate this report)

It is estimated that 11 million people worldwide have travelled or are planning to travel abroad to seek medical care, and that number is increasing. ‘Medical Tourism’, as it has come to be known, has surged in recent years, and is believed to be growing at a pace of 15 to 25 per cent annually. Countries that are promoting medical tourism regard it as a means to develop their economies, earn foreign currencies and improve their own health care facilities. Canada, however, has been reticent to promote itself as a medical tourism destination. At present, more Canadians travel abroad for medical treatment (spending $447 million in 2013) than foreign visitors who come to Canada for health care (earning us $150 million the same year).

So should Canada jump on this growing trend? We will not know unless we experiment. Cautious and careful experimentation with medical tourism in Canada can allow us to learn whether it creates a plus or becomes a minus for our public health system -- and adjust our public policies accordingly.

Join Ronald Labonté, co-author of a new research report for The Conference Board of Canada's Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care, for a discussion about the potential, and the risks, of medical tourism in Canada. Ronald will discuss whether our health system can do so without compromising access for Canadians, and if we can generate substantial revenues for cross-subsidization of public health without creating burdensome administrative costs.

Interested in more detail on the potential of Medical Tourism? Check out our report - Should Canada's Hospitals Open Their Doors to Medical Tourists?

Webinar Highlights

Other topics addressed in this 60-minute webinar include:

  • The state of medical tourism in Canada and around the world
  • Assessment of risks that medical tourism could pose to Canadian Medicare
  • A set of guiding principles for medical tourism in Canada

Maintenance of Certification

Image of Canadian College of Health Leaders logoAttendance at this webinar entitles certified Canadian College of Health Leaders members (CHE/Fellow) to .5 Category II credits toward their maintenance of certification requirement.

About Ron

Photo of Ronald LabontéRonald Labonté holds a Canada Research Chair in Globalization and Health Equity at the School of Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, and at Institute of Population Health, where he is Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He is also Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Flinders University, South Australia; Adjunct Professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan; and a Fellow with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Access Webinar

(you will be asked to sign-in)

To see if you are entitled to get this research for free, take a minute and create a free e-Library account. This will let us determine if someone else at your organization has already purchased access to this material.