Canada is often seen as a key market for providing medical tourists, but there is very little academic or other research on this phenomenon.

How many medical tourism projects take off and are sustainable? Is it 200 or 2 Canadians travelling abroad, and when? Why do some Canadians look for treatment overseas? One academic study last year showed demand for medical tourism being far less than the optimistic projections some agencies had taken to be true.

In 2008 Simon Fraser University (SFU) health geographer Valorie Crooks started the SFU Medical Tourism Research Group (MTRG). Her first studies revealed truth and fiction not matching up. Valorie Crooks says, “People believe Canadians are going abroad because of waiting lists, but our research shows that it is more complex than that. There are issues of procedure availability and procedures not covered under Medicare, while others go because they are concerned about the quality of care in Canada.”

The group has now received funding to initiate three new studies that will examine a variety of issues related to medical tourism.

Some of the issues that will be explored are:

What is happening to local health-care services in countries that cater to medical tourists?

Is medical tourism good for the local area because it brings in money and jobs?

There is very little evidence either way to prove these two theories which makes the research such a positive step for Canadians and other North Americans considering medical tourism as well as the people of the host countries such as Mexico.

For information on Mexico’s largest private hospital network and how we do medical tourism please contact us using the form on the right.