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Report of Over 52,000 Canadians Seeking Health Care Abroad

Posted by Brian Shevel on 30 March 2015

Toronto, Canada (PRWEB), March 30, 2015 - Home Care Assistance - Toronto/York Region (HomeCareAssistance-Toronto.com), the leading provider of non-medical, in-home senior care in the Greater Toronto Area, is weighing in on a report that over 52,000 Canadians sought health care from abroad in 2014.

According to a study performed by the Fraser Institute, 2014 saw 52,513 Canadians leaving the country for some form of medical treatment; this is up from 41,838 in 2013. The province with the most citizens departing for treatment was Ontario, which accounted for more than half of this number. There was also an increase in Canadian citizens leaving for non-emergency medical procedures, rising from 0.9% last year to 1.1%. (Source: Katz, D., "More Than 52,000 Canadians Traveled Abroad For Health Care Last Year; Study Finds," National Post, March 17, 2015; http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/03/17/number-of-canadian-patients-travelling-abroad-for-treatment-increased-by-25-study-finds/.)

"For a country that's supposedly praised for its health care system, having that many people seeking treatment outside of our boundaries is alarming," says Lester Fix, vice president of Home Care Assistance - Toronto/York Region. "I think that Canada needs to take a deeper look at the cause of this departure and focus on coming up with some practical and efficient solutions."

According to the study, wait times have been pointed to as the main instigator of this issue. A 2014 study by the Commonwealth Fund of the health care systems of 11 industrialized nations around the world ranked Canada last for wait length.

"The time from patients seeing a doctor up to when they are sent to surgery by a specialist takes up to four months under the current Canadian system; that's just too long a wait," Fix explains. "And just because the surgery is determined to not be a matter of life and death doesn't mean patients who are forced to wait months are not in serious pain and discomfort. In fact, in some instances, the ailment could even worsen."

Fix notes that family doctors were right in continuing to push the federal government to implement a national home care system for seniors along with better care and the eradication of child poverty within the next five years. (Source: Ubelacker, S., "Canada's family doctors push Ottawa for home-care strategy," CTV News web site, November 13, 2014; http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/canada-s-family-doctors-push-ottawa-for-home-care-strategy-1.2098773.)

"Though we primarily deal with senior home care, we want to see all of these health care concerns addressed," Fix concludes. "We at Home Care Assistance Toronto/York Region are doing our part and constantly looking for ways we can step up and improve our already award-winning services to the seniors who we care for."

Visit the Home Care Assistance Toronto/York region web site at www.HomeCareAssistance-Toronto.com for more info on how the organization provides home care to residents of the community.

Brian ShevelAuthor: Brian Shevel
About: I am originally from South Africa from a small city called Bloemfontein. After I completed my education, I went to work with my late-father who had a wholesale business selling clothes and shoes to retail stores around the country. I was in the business till I left for Canada in 1993. In Canada, I have run several businesses in a variety of industries. Although I experienced success, I missed helping people. I learned from my parents that helping seniors was important to their well-being and of great value to the community. Volunteer work remains a priority in my life. I am a past president of Bnai Brith and serve on many other committees.
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