Hospitals in New York State and throughout the United States Are Advertising to Attract the Growing Number of Medical Tourists from Canada

Syracuse, New York, aims to position itself as the healthcare destination of choice for Ontarians right across the border who are weary of waiting for free healthcare from their provincial health service

There is a new twist in medical tourism! United States hospitals are advertising to Canadians who are frustrated by increasingly long waiting times for elective medical procedures from their national health service. U.S. providers are hoping to lure them across the border for quicker access to care.

Until recently, U.S. hospitals were not motivated to attract Canadian patients as a way to generate new admissions. However, years of sustained cuts to prices paid to U.S. hospitals by health insurers have made it economically attractive for U.S. hospitals to advertise to Canadian patients just across the border. The medical laboratories of American hospitals serving medical tourists benefit from this source of patients.

Number of Canadians Coming to U.S. for Medical Care Each Year Growing

While Canadians get most of their medical care for free through a nationwide, single-payer system administered by each province, thousands of Canadians come to the U.S. each year seeking medical care. In 2014, an estimated 52,513 Canadians received non-emergency medical treatment outside Canada. The largest number of patients leaving the country for healthcare are from the Province of Ontario and total 26,252, according to the Fraser Institute, a Canadian research organization. The number of Canadians seeking medical care outside the country’s borders was up 26% from a year earlier, the study showed. (more…)