Canada is known globally as a country with a socialized medical system. This is invaluable for residents and citizens of Canada. But what about to the rest of the world? People from other countries do not have the option of signing up for one of the Canadian provincial health insurance policies, which guarantees free medical care or medical care at a notably low premium. Is there any reason then for a foreigner to come to Canada for the medical system when they do not qualify for Canada’s socialized insurance? Recent developments in Canadian medical tourism would indicate there is.
Canada’s neighbor to the south, the United States, has a reputation for luring in the best doctors to live and practice medicine within the country because of its capitalistic possibilities. However, there is an opposing ethical argument that many first world doctors celebrate which is to make healthcare accessible to every person, regardless of their financial situation. This is the reason many of the world’s most brilliant doctors reside and practice in Canada; because they respect Canada’s position on social healthcare. Canada is also home to some of the most advanced medical research in the world, with funding and academic institutions that easily rival that of the United States (and sometimes even dominate it).
Because of these factors, Canada has become a very desirable destination for medical tourists from around the globe. There has been some ethical backlash over it, because foreigners willing to pay out of pocket have been welcomed into medical institutions with open arms, and critics of Canadian medical tourism point out that it could only be a matter of time before residents and citizens have to start paying out of pocket to receive the medical care they need. Currently, however, this has not been the case. Canadian residents and citizens still receive immediate, quality care under their socialized premiums. Canadians also enjoy the benefit of some socialized mental health services, such as rehab and counseling. Those struggling with addiction or mental disorders can check into a behavioral wellness center or an addiction treatment center Canada and receive government funding in some provinces.