Who Would Benefit From Medical Travel

Who Would Benefit From Medical Travel

Medical travel, otherwise known as medical tourism, has been around for many years.  Yet, it seems to have gained more popularity in the past decade.  There are many reasons as to why someone would travel for medical treatment but exactly who would benefit from medical travel?  The answer is if your quality of life has been hampered, you are unable to work, losing money as a result or the pain is unbearable, then you would benefit.  

Elective Procedures

In an urgent case, getting treated in a timely fashion usually happens.  When it does not involve a medical emergency, the provincial government heath plans consider these elective procedures and/or non-urgent.  It doesn’t mean that the provincial insurance won’t cover what you need to have done, in most cases, however, you may just have to wait.  When it involves something that creates limitations in your day to day health, then it sure seems like it is urgent.  Constant pain is physically limiting and distracting with difficulties in focusing .  This will create a decrease in your productivity or ability to work.   

In other instances, it could be a cost benefit for surgeries such as elective plastic surgery or dental procedures.  The cost for these surgeries is not covered by the provincial government health plans and can be pretty pricey to pay out of pocket.  Therefore, one may opt to have things done elsewhere.

Procedures Not Available In Home Country

Availability for cutting edge and newer techniques are not always a luxury we have access to.  In many situations, a more involved surgery might be determined solely on the fact that the surgeon doesn’t have the appropriate training or tools to do a less invasive type of procedure.  There are other cases where the procedure or technology is simply not available such as in a cancer case.  In these scenarios, it is prudent to research your options.  Getting a second opinion is the best way to navigate this and explore your options.  You just may find something you didn’t know existed and be a better treatment for you.

Health Vantis




New Sunscreen Guidelines From FDA

Summer is quickly approaching.  It’s a reminder that sunscreen needs to be worn.  Prior to 2019, U.S. FDA guidelines had not been updated in over a decade.  In order to make sunscreen safe and effective, they have recently proposed updated and new regulatory guidelines.

The new guidelines are focused on bringing nonprescription, over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreens, that are marketed without FDA approval, to have more up to date information. The FDA’s proposal will focus on the active ingredients, dosage, sun protection factor (SPF) and broad-spectrum requirements.  They have also proposed better labeling to make it easier for the consumer to identify important product information.   

Sunscreens that you purchase from the store are still safe and effective.  With newer scientific advancements,  experts now know much more about sunscreen skin absorption.  With people utilizing it more often, sometimes on a daily basis, more investigation was deemed necessary to ensure continued safety and effectiveness for the consumer.

For details as to what the proposal will focus on, please visit here: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-advances-new-proposed-regulation-make-sure-sunscreens-are-safe-and-effective

Stay safe this summer and be sure to always wear some form of SPF that protects against UVA & UVB rays!

Health Vantis




June 2019 Newsletter


Canadian Men’s Health Week (June 10-16th)

Canadian Men’s Health week is celebrated the week leading up to Father’s Day.  This week is dedicated to raising awareness of preventable health issues.  It promotes living a healthy lifestyle by being proactive with early detection and treatment of disease in men.

New research shows that 72% of Canadian men demonstrate 2-3 unhealthy habits.  This could be in the form of a poor diet, smoking cigarettes, excessive drinking, not getting enough sleep or not exercising regularly.  An even more mind boggling statistic is that 70% of chronic health conditions are caused by lifestyle, not genetics, which means a lot of them are preventable.  

Genetics you can’t do much about, but modifying your lifestyle you can.  It can be very easy to neglect your health when you work full-time, have families, daily stressors or just lack of time.  By changing some simple habits, huge benefits can be achieved.  Something as simple as:

– Eating a healthy breakfast, or eating one at all, will help start the day off in the right direction.  

  • Playing with your children or grandchildren.
  • Taking the stairs
  • Parking further away from the building
  • Doing yard work
  • Playing a sport
  • Getting regular check ups from your doctor
  • Doing the recommended tests such as a PSA or cholesterol panel when appropriate 
  • Drinking water instead of soda
  • Eating a type of fish or seafood in place of red meat once per week

Canada’s Men’s Health Foundation has some really helpful tools. You can test where you stand health wise with a quick and easy test on their website.  It is free, 100% confidential and provides you with your areas of risk, what you need to know and what you can do to improve.  It takes about 5 minutes to complete.  To take the test, click here!  

They also provide a Maintenance Guide to tell you when certain tests are recommended based on your age.  It is broken down by your age: 20-39, 40-54 and 55+.  There are also some helpful ‘Did You Know’ stats.  To see what you should be having done each year, click here!

Infographic courtesy of Canadian Men’s Health Foundation



Canadians Leaving Canada For Medical Care (Newsletter)

Did you know that in 2017 there was a reported 217,500 Canadians that left the country for health care according to Statistics Canada?  We spent $690 million on medical care, $1.9 million per day, in other countries.  Numbers like this are baffling.  Why are the numbers of Canadians leaving for medical care increasing?

Lack of Doctors

In the Maritimes alone, there are 175,000 people waiting and without a family doctor.  In Ontario, it was reported that 1.3 million are without access to primary care.  This poses huge issues and contributes to the overcrowding in the ER’s but more importantly, is a bigger problem when it comes time for follow up and that person doesn’t have anyone to follow up with.  It puts people between a rock and a hard place.

Other scenario’s include the wait time to see a specialist or to have a diagnostic test done.  Some of the doctor’s offices we’ve contacted have a recording on their voicemail, ‘If you are in need of a referral to Dr. XYZ, there is an 18 month wait to see him.’  (One of the Neurologists’ message indicated 24 months!)   Talk about discouraging.  If you are in pain, who wants to wait that long for someone to address it?  

Operating Rooms & Diagnostic Machines Rationed

In 2018, a report was done and looked at 15 hospitals in Quebec that had the longest wait times for MRI & CT Scans.  This study found that the majority of the machines were operating far below capacity.  

In theory, these machines should be operating 16 hours a day, 7 days a week.  On average, only 6 of the machines were running approximately 8 hours a day.  Meanwhile, 7,000 people were  on the waitlist to have a scan.  

Due to budget constraints, operating rooms are not booked to full capacity either.  There may be an OR room, surgical team, and surgeon available, however, that surgeon is only allowed to do so many surgeries per week.  When you see the numbers of how many people are leaving for medical care, these reasons noted above may very well be part of the cause.



Happy Father’s Day!

Teacher to all

Fearless leader

Everyday hero

Ringmaster to the circus

Foundation of the family

New dads, old dads, step-dads, granddads, father in laws, military dads, goofball dads…there are a million fatherly types out there.  What ever category you fall under, Happy Father’s Day!


Health Vantis is briefly saying goodby to their newsletter for the summer, however, our business will still be open.  We will resume the newsletter September 2019.  We hope everyone has a happy, healthy and safe summer!!! Looking forward to catching up in a couple of months.

*If there are topics you’d like to see in our upcoming issues, please send us your ideas.  We love hearing from you!

Organ Transplants and Medical Tourism

Organ Transplants and Medical Tourism

From time to time we get calls and emails from individuals seeking organ transplants.  The requests not only come from Canadians but individuals from other countries looking to come to Canada or the US for the surgery.  Organ transplant cases are probably the most complex kind we could ever assist in because there are so many variables and factors to account for when making arrangements for such a surgery.

Black Market

For starters, we cannot help someone locate an organ for them.  This is actually illegal in all countries around the world, with the exception of Iran.  Despite these prohibitions, the trafficking of organs is still done globally on what they call the ‘Black Market’.  People are willing to sell their organ(s), such as a kidney, in exchange for money.  It’s pretty evident why this would and should not be allowed.  

Having A Match As A Donor

Some of the calls we’ve gotten are from individuals that have a family member that is a match for them.  In cases like this, we can help, however, the requirements and financial aspects of having it done privately can be quite stringent and cost prohibitive  For someone coming from another country to the US or Canada, certain requirements have to be met prior to a hospital even considering doing the surgery. 

The out of pocket expense to have an organ transplant surgery would start around $100K USD and go up.  The hospital would not only require proof of financial means to pay for the surgery through a verifiable source, but also need proof that the recipient has the financial means or insurance for the follow up care, which is life long, and very expensive.  In addition, they would require proper testing to have been done on the donor such as a physical exam, immunological tests, multiple lab and tissue tests, EKG, chest x-ray, psychological evaluation, urine samples and several others should the surgeon feel they are warranted.  The US & Canada also require a Visa to enter if you are from certain countries.  This would need to be approved in advance as well.

Being A Donor

Unfortunately, waiting for the appropriate organ can take several months to several years.  Not everyone is successful in finding a match.  One thing you can do to help contribute to those in need is to become a donor should you pass away unexpectedly.  The process for registering is very quick, simple and the database is connected nationally. 

There is also living donation should you be interested.  Living donors can give a kidney, bone marrow and partial lung, pancreas, intestine or liver.  This of course, is out of the goodness of your heart as you will not receive any kind of monetary incentive.  Things such as plasma and blood are also considered donations that are always needed.  For information on how you can be a donor, please visit: https:// www.theorganproject.net


Health Vantis