Ontario’s Health Minister Asked for Review of Medical Tourism

Published on : Saturday, April 19, 2014

medical-tourismAfter The Globe and Mail’s reports on a major Toronto hospital’s plan to solicit a small number of foreign patients as a way to raise revenue Ontario’s Health Minister has asked for an informal review of medical tourism in the province.

Minister Deb Matthews has directed officials to examine publicly funded hospital’s practices of offering non-urgent care to wealthy or well-insured international patients.

“We have to make sure that we can be very, very clear and demonstrate that this is a benefit to Ontarians,” she said. “If we can’t demonstrate that we won’t be doing it.”

In an interview, she said that she is looking to ensure that no public money goes into treating patients from outside the province, all money generated from fee-paying foreign patients goes back into the system, and no Ontarians wait longer for care.

Ms. Matthews’s comments come close on heels of five health-care group’s call on Ontario’s Premier to ban medical tourism.

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