Increasingly, Canadians are paying out of pocket for surgical procedures performed in the U.S. In Canada today, a non-life threatening surgery, like a hip replacement, could be delayed two to three years.
Alberta postponed all elective surgeries during September 2021. According to the most recent numbers released by the Alberta government, roughly 15,000 surgeries have been cancelled during COVID’s fourth wave, in addition to the 30,000 procedure delays during the first three waves.
One Calgary orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip and knee replacements admits his wait times have increased by more than 50 per cent since the start of the pandemic. Patients now face a four year delay from the time they are referred to see him until he can perform their surgery. The surgeon notes it is not only the rich heading south across the border for procedures. He cites this example: if a carpenter is unable to work because of pain from a bad hip, paying out $35,000 is well worth his investment. The carpenter will be able to get back to work in a just a few months – not years. In another example, at a hospital just south of the Canadian border in Kallispell, Montana, one nurse has recently seen a 50% increase in patients from Alberta.
Gino Stirpe, Vice President of VUMI® Canada comments, “Nearly two years into the pandemic, elective surgeries keep getting delayed as hospitals continue to deal with critically ill COVID-19 patients. Our VUMI® plans offer timely treatment in top facilities in the U.S. No one should have to live for years in life-altering pain.
Source: CBC News, Nov 11, 2021