Private Orthopaedic Surgery In Canada
The Canada Health Act was designed to ensure that all Canadians have equal access to publicly funded medical services.
To accomplish this, physicians and surgeons are prohibited from receiving money from both the public health system and from the private payors in the same province they are registered in.
Wherever a physician or surgeon is registered to practice, they can only choose one payment method for their services in that province; public or private but not both.
Some surgeons in Canada have registered in their home province and elected to be paid by public funding as well as registering in a second province where they elect to accept private payments for private surgery.
In other cases, some surgeons in Canada have chosen to register in their home province and elected not to receive public funding (known as “opting out”). These surgeons are able to provide private surgery in their home province because they are paid privately.
There are Canadian companies that may offer private surgical assessments in your province and may create the expectation of accelerated access to public-funded surgery in your home province. This can be misleading. Please be advised that any recommendation for surgery from these companies will not move you up on any surgical wait list in your home province for public funded surgery. (known as “queue jumping” it is prohibited).
Bottom line, if you want to undergo private surgery in Canada you must either (a) travel outside the province you reside in or (b) find a surgeon who has opted-out from receiving public funding and can perform private surgery in your province
FYI, we do not identify surgeons in our directory who offer out-of-province private surgery or those who have opted-out from public funding in their respective province. If you wish to know this information, please contact a surgeon’s office directly.
Lastly, given that post-surgical complications can occur after any kind of surgery, – before electing private surgery – you are encouraged to discuss exactly what kind of medical support (including costs) you will receive from your surgeon once you are discharged and /or return home. In addition, you are also encouraged to discuss what kind of support you will receive from your family physician for ongoing care.
Private Orthopaedic Surgery Outside Canada
There are no restrictions on Canadians undergoing private surgery anywhere outside of Canada.
Given that post-surgical complications can occur after any kind of surgery, – before electing private surgery – you are encouraged to discuss exactly what kind of medical support (including costs) you will receive from your surgeon once you are discharged and /or return home. In addition you are also encouraged to discuss what kind of support you will receive from your family physician for ongoing care.
Terry Kane, Registered Physiotherapist (Calgary, Alberta)
Founder | Owner, OrthopaedicsCanada.com