Longwoods Online

Longwoods Online September 2007 : 0-0

Canadian Medicare and the Global Health Care Bazaar

Leigh Turner

Abstract

In a world where inexpensive air travel, low cost telecommunications and digitized patient records make travelling for health care increasingly easy, there is now a global health care marketplace, says William Dawson Scholar Leigh Turner. He reviews the scattered evidence regarding these new international health options, notably the rapid emergence of medical tourism companies across Canada. Unfortunately, says Turner, "politicians and health policy-makers pay surprisingly little attention to the ready availability of health care in other countries," and no one knows precisely how many Canadians travel abroad specifically for this reason. But given the implications for our universal health care system and our health, he argues that better documentation and investigation of health-related travel outside Canada will be an important part of improving public policy in this field.

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Dans un monde où le transport aérien bon marché, les télécommunications à bas prix et la numérisation des dossiers de patients facilitent les voyages pour raison de santé, on assiste à la création d'un véritable marché international des services médicaux, observe Leigh Turner, titulaire de la chaire William Dawson de l'Université McGill. L'auteur analyse ces nouvelles options offertes aux Canadiens, notamment la multiplication des entreprises de tourisme médical partout au Canada. Il déplore que les politiciens et les décideurs en santé s'intéressent si peu à cet accès rapide aux soins à l'étranger, même si on ignore le nombre exact de Canadiens qui en profitent. Étant donné l'incidence de ce phénomène sur notre système universel et la santé même des Canadiens, il propose d'étudier et de documenter la question en vue d'améliorer nos politiques publiques en matière de santé.

[To view the full article, please download the PDF.]

From:

Institute for Research on Public Policy
www.irpp.org

About the Author(s)

Leigh Turner is associate professor and William Dawson Scholar at the Biomedical Ethics Unit and the Department of Social Studies of Medicine, McGill University. This article was written while he was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow in the Comparative Program on Health and Society at the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies.

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