When Is It Safe to Travel for Medical Reasons?

Just yesterday our top public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said that we need to approach opening the border with the US with extreme caution. If you are looking to get your surgery done in a private manner your choices of private medical facilities in Canada are limited. The closest destination is the USA.

Here are our considerations of why people may wait or may go to get their private surgery in the US. In this blog, we assume that there are no travel restrictions between the two countries. It may take a while to get there.

Before considering travelling for a private surgery one must consider travelling in general. It can be done by car or plane. Travel by car may be perceived as safer, as you are only sharing the space with 1-2 people.  Canadians will try to stay as close to home as possible, understandably so. There are just a couple of private surgical facilities in this country and we are keeping in touch with them to determine if and when they reopen, we can advise our potential clients. For now, we still offer second opinions, phone consults and review of medical records in a virtual or remote manner.

Travelling by air will require some assurance from the airlines that it is done in the safest manner possible. Transport Canada now requires that all guests have a non-medical mask or face covering during travel. Air Canada is implementing a plan to have mandatory temperature checks, more personal space, electrostatic cabin spraying, and PPE for its crew and customer service. WestJet provides seat distancing, fresh air into the cabin every 2-3 minutes and hospital quality filters, and limited food and beverage service.

Certain measures have to be in place from the hospital’s perspective to even consider doing private surgeries. Sufficient stocks of PPE, anaesthetic drugs, ventilators and COVID-19 pre-op testing are among the musts.

All the above listed are external reasons for a person to feel safe to be able to travel. There are internal reasons as well. Those are based on each individual particular situation and habits. It may depend on how severe your issue is and how long you are willing to wait. People that are more risk-takers will start travelling sooner. Those that are more averse to risk will stay and wait, monitoring news about medical travel and its results. Once there are a couple of successful travel cases, we will see more interest in travelling for medical reasons.

For now, we are still able to offer remote second opinions, consultations and review of medical records. Those action items can provide you with more information about your condition and will give you a head start should you choose to go the private route. For more information call us toll-free 877 344 3544.

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