Private Orthopaedic Surgery

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 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 two provinces. 

  • In one province they elect to be paid by public funding.
  • In a second province they elect to accept private payments for private surgery.

There are some surgeons in Canada who have registered in one province and elected not to be pain by public funding. This is called “opting out” and these surgeons can provide private surgery in their province.

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

Buyer Beware.

There are Canadian companies that offer private surgical assessments and may create the expectation they can accelerate public-funded surgery in your home province. This can be misleading and is not true.  No private company or privately paid surgeon can move you up on any waiting list for public funded surgery or medical care in any province. 

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

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