Patients Without Borders
Headlines about Canadians going abroad for surgery, dental work or experimental medical procedures are common. We often read about how “medical tourists” received affordable care abroad, and would recommend it to others. But these accounts are only part of the story.
The medical tourism industry is global, expanding, and actively recruiting Canadian patients, investors and physicians. A growing number of countries are marketing themselves as attractive destinations for patients from around the world who are willing to pay privately for medical care in a location of their choice. But, there are valid and significant concerns about whether or not the people, health systems and economies in these countries truly benefit from medical tourism.
Dr. Valorie Crooks, Canada Research Chair in Health Service Geographies, focuses on finding evidence about how medical tourism can be done in the most equitable, ethical and safe way possible. Her research in countries such as Barbados, Mexico, India, Guatemala, Colombia, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Belize and Canada is offering insight into the complex ways in which a variety of people are affected, directly or indirectly by medical tourism.
Crooks and her research team are working with other industry experts, delivering their findings straight to those who can ensure the health and well-being of medical tourists as well as the friends and family members who travel with them.