Private Surgery or Waiting: Canada Medical Wait Times 2022

According to Fraser Institute, 2022 was worse than 2021 for medical wait times. Compared to 2021, the medical wait times in Canada increased by 1.8 weeks. The total waiting time between referral from a general practitioner and delivery of medically necessary elective treatment by a specialist averaged across all 12 specialties and 10 provinces surveyed, has risen from 25.6 weeks in 2021 to 27.4 in 2022. As a reminder in the year 1993, it was just 9.3 weeks.

Ontario reports the shortest total wait in 2022 (20.3 weeks), followed by British Columbia (25.8 weeks) and Quebec (29.4 weeks). Prince Edward Island has the longest total wait at 64.7 weeks, followed by Nova Scotia (58.2 weeks) and New Brunswick (43.3 weeks).

So even if you are in Ontario, you could be facing a 5-month wait time. However, if you are in Atlantic Canada, your medical delays can be close to over a year. The full report by the Fraser institute can be found here.

It is understandable that many Canadians do not wish to wait and look for private options for surgeries or specialty consultations. Health Vantis can help by connecting you to a safe and affordable private medical facility and providing you with white glove medical concierge service, making all the logistical arrangements for you.

Private medical facilities we work with have virtually no wait times. In most cases, we can get someone to surgery in 3-4 weeks from the date we receive their medical records. If you are wondering about your private medical options, please reach out to us to discuss, email info@healthvantis.com or toll-free 877-344 3544

Private Surgery Pre-Op Testing

One of the steps to get ready for private surgery is pre-op testing. Most of it can be done locally, at no cost to you as provincial health plans cover these tests. However, you will need to see your family doctor and ask for requisitions to get the testing done.

Below are the most common tests and forms that are required. Each case is different, however, and there may be something that is needed specifically for your case. Health Vantis will inform you well in advance of all the required pre-op.

Bloodwork

The most common blood work that is asked for includes CBC, sodium, potassium, creatinine, blood glucose, and sometimes INR. You can ask your family doctor for a requisition and get it done locally at a lab. The wait times should not be long and in some provinces, you can schedule blood work appointments online within just a couple of days.  The results can be sent directly to us or to the private surgical facility.

ECG/EKG or Cardiology Clearance

If you have no heart issues, such as previous cardiological surgeries, heart disease, or/and high blood pressure, usually ECG is sufficient. The requisition also should be obtained from your family doctor, at the same time as your blood work.

Sometimes a cardiology clearance is required. If you are able to see your local cardiologist to obtain it, that is the least expensive path. Some of the facilities we work with can suggest a local cardiologist that can schedule a consult on short notice to accommodate your surgery date. The cost varies per doctor and location and will be communicated to you by Health Vantis upfront.

Physical Exam from Your Family Doctor

A physical form is also required in most cases. It contains general questions about your past and present health history. Health Vantis will provide it to you to give to your family doctor to fill out. Your family doctor can either fax or email it to us, or fax it directly to the private surgical facility.

If you are considering private surgery and have any questions, we are here to help! Reach out to us by toll-free at 877 344 3544 or email info@helathvantis.com

Private Surgery in the US or Canada – Post Op Care

Who will take care of me when I am back home? This is a question we often get asked when we discuss traveling for surgery with our potential clients.

Traveling for medical treatment can be overwhelming. Not only is there the actual research, calling, follow-ups, and travel planning, but there is also a worry about what happens when you get back home. Sometimes stitches need to be removed. What about following up further?

All these worries should be discussed with your medical facilitator, as they are very experienced with these types of situations and plan ahead. Below we provide the answers to the most common follow-up care when you are back home in Canada.

What if there is a complication?

Complications can happen after any surgery as any surgery carries certain risks with it. Usually during the initial consultation surgeons discuss possible complications and their rate of occurrence. If you are traveling to the US, we advise you to look into medical complications insurance. If it is in Canada, you will be covered by your provincial health plan.

If a complication occurs once you are back home, we advise that you go to the emergency room or see your family doctor. This is very rare as most complications occur within 24 to 48 hours of surgery and during this period of time you would still be at the location of your surgery and will be able to contact the facility or surgeon who performed your treatment for their help

Who will be removing my stitches when I get home?

On very few occasions there is a need to remove the stitches. Most of the facilities we work with use dissolvable stitches and there is no need to remove them. However, we advise our clients to inform their family doctor or nurse practitioner about their medical travel and ask them if they would be able to do this upon their return. We understand that such conversations can be difficult to have, but honestly, we are yet to hear about a family doctor who has not been receptive to surgery someplace else in order to get timely help. Family doctors know how long it takes and most are very receptive to such conversations. In addition, they provide insight and another opinion about the surgery, so it is always a good idea to keep your family doctor in the conversation.

Who would follow up with me post-op?

After the surgery, you will go back to a hotel to recover. Before you can travel back home, there is usually a follow-up in about 3 days post-op to clear you to fly or drive home. Depending on the type of surgery, sometimes there is a follow-up in two weeks post surgery and takes place virtually. Some of the facilities we work with in the US offer follow-up until it is no longer needed.

If you are curious about private surgery and would like to get more information about it, please contact us by toll-free 877 344 3544 or email info@healthvantis.com and we would be happy to answer your questions.

 

Our Customers Say Health Vantis is ‘Extremely Responsive’. The Health Care System? Not so Much.

Our Customers Say Health Vantis is ‘Extremely Responsive’. The Health Care System? Not so Much.

When we take a case on, we treat our clients as if they are one of our friends or family.  We understand the delays and pain they have been in, because we’ve also experienced them at one point or another ourselves.  Providing them with the support they need is one of our greatest strengths as a business.  When they have a question or concern, we handle it immediately and get them the answers they need quickly and efficiently.  We are proud of the dedication and service we provide our clients, because we know that when dealing with the Canadian health care system, the experience is much different.

Once a client has completed their medical journey to a better quality of life and they are back home recuperated, we follow up to have them complete a survey about their experience with us as well as the facility they had their surgery.  One of number one comments we get from our clients is that we are ‘extremely responsive’.  We try our best to be fully attentive knowing that they most likely haven’t experienced that with the health care system.  Unfortunately, people get lost in the shuffle of the long wait times, budget limitations and over worked health care professionals.  It is our main priority to make sure that does not happen.  They are after-all, paying for something the health care system should be covering and in essence, paying twice for.

If you have been forgotten about with the health care system, contact Health Vantis to assist you with a private surgery.  You will be our priority and we will be committed to you until you are back to a healthy self.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

Continued Care From the Facilities We Work With

Continued Care From the Facilities We Work With

Back in November of 2020, a client of ours, Teresa Hannah, had a hip replacement surgery in the US.  We have spotlighted her in our newsletter due to the wonderful experience she had. 

If you recall, she stated, ‘I could have purchased a new car or a new hip’.  To this day, she still stands by this statement.  Just this week we heard from her again.  Back in September of 2021, she began experiencing some challenges with her new hip.  She reached back out to the facility we referred her to and they immediately addressed her concerns.

An x-ray was done and reviewed by the surgeon that did her surgery.  After confirming everything structurally was in good order, he re-connected her with the physiotherapist that worked with her right after the surgery.  She provided her with some new exercises via zoom including some follow zoom calls at no charge.  Her message to us was thanking the surgeons office, his staff and Health Vantis.  The new exercises made a huge difference.  She was able to enjoy a fabulous week in Acadia National Park in Maine with her husband hiking miles of trails.  This is something they love to do together and her biggest goal to achieve after the initial surgery.

The facilities we work with care about their patients and are always willing to assist if anything ever arises.  Even though Teresa’s issues developed 10 months post surgery, they were still right there to assist her.  The dedication and commitment to care is stellar because the main goal is the same for everyone, that they get their life back to normal.  Health Vantis focuses on providing a great experience with attention to being responsive to our client’s needs.  Our facilities have the exact same purpose. 

If you are considering private surgery, contact Health Vantis to assist in finding the right facility that will ensure you and your care are their main priority.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

info@healthvantis.com

877-344-3544

Private Surgery in Canada or the USA – What Our Customers Say

Health Vantis helps Canadians arrange their private surgeries in the USA or Canada. When clients contact us, we know they have tried every way possible to get their medical issues resolved locally. They contact us to get help in a timely and professional manner. Below there are some customer testimonials that we received in the past.

“I could have gotten a new car or a new hip. My new hip is 100 times more precious to me than a new car. That said, it is deeply disappointing to me that the Canadian health system has allowed joint replacements to be so low on the totem pole, especially for relatively young and active people who could get back to productive work and more enjoyable and productive lives, in general, more quickly if the waitlist was shorter.”

“I was very pleased with how quickly you began researching and organizing everything for us once we contacted you. Every question or concern either my husband or I had throughout the planning and trip, Health Vantis was there to research and answer for us.”

“I just wanted to let you know and to also thank you for helping me when no one else would. I won’t forget your assistance and know where to go or send others, should the need arise.  Thank you again.”

If you would like to learn more about private surgery without delays, please email us at info@healthvantis.com or call us toll-free 877 344 344.

Can I Get a Private Surgery Faster?

The short answer to this question is yes. Medical waits in the public system come close to 2 years for some joint replacement surgeries and other elective surgeries. We can help get you to private surgery anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months. Below are some of the components of medical travel with explanations of how they work and why they are important.

Medical records

Clients that already have their medical records will have a time advantage. If not, we can help get them, but in most provinces, it can take up to 30 days to receive. As well, for those that have their diagnostic tests done, it will be a little bit faster, because doctors we work with can review them and provide their recommendations over a virtual or phone consultation.

Travel Companion

All facilities we work with require a travel companion. Most of the surgeries we arrange are day surgeries and do not require an overnight hospital stay.  You will be under anesthesia during your surgery. Thus, you will not be able to drive for 24h post-surgery.

Therefore, when you are released, you are typically groggy, on pain medication, can have cognitive confusion and are not always able to move quickly during those first 24 hours. A responsible adult will need to pick you up and care for you after surgery.

Additionally, the first 24-48 hours after surgery are crucial to spot any complications and someone will need to keep a close eye on you an

Vaccination Status

Currently to travel to the US all travelers by air have to be fully vaccinated. Medical facilities in the US do not require full vaccination to do a surgery. They will do a COVID screening prior to surgery.

If your private surgery is to take place in Canada, and you are not fully vaccinated (2 shots) some facilities will require a negative PCR test done 24-72 hours prior to surgery. Vaccination requirements do change and Health Vantis keeps a close eye on all the changes so we can inform our clients of the current situation.

If you would like to learn more about private surgery without delays, please email us at info@healthvantis.com or call us toll-free 877 344 344

September Fitness

Life is busy and moves very fast. As seasons change, so can our motivation to exercise. In spring, before summer comes, some people get more motivated to get healthy and lose weight to look good for the beach. The new year has a similar motivation – new year, new you!  However, you should not be discouraged to start any exercise and weight loss program in the fall.

Even though the weather is getting cooler, it may be easier to go for a walk or a run. There is no heat to bear and no need to hide as much from harmful sun. Beautiful fall foliage creates picturesque views around us. If you have a family with children, they are back at school. Our routines take over, which is great for setting up your workout schedule.

Exercise has many benefits for physical and mental health. Walking is great for weight loss and mental state. Many studies cite improvements in both. If you add 30 min of a brisk walk to your daily routine, you can burn about 150 calories a day! One of the studies found that walking reduces belly fat, which is associated with negative effects on your overall health.

Losing weight can relieve the stress your body has on your knee joints. A study done with overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis found that losing one pound of weight resulted in four pounds of pressure being removed from the knees. Yet another study showed that losing 10–20 percent of starting body weight improved pain, function, and quality of life better than losing just five percent of body weight.

Don’t wait another day! Go out there and enjoy our beautiful Canadian autumn!

Men’s Health Awareness Week and National Health and Fitness Day

Mens Health Awareness Week and National Health and Fitness Day

The past year has been hard for all of us.  Instead of the freshman 15, it has been said it is now the COVID 15.  People are either going to come out a hunk or a chunk.  If you are coming out a hunk, good for you!  If you are the latter, this month is all about health and fitness as well as men’s heath awareness.   It is about encouraging us to take the steps to improve our overall health.

In the past, you would assume these dedicated awareness dates only meant your physical health.  In today’s world and climate we are in, your mental health is also just as important.  Canada has always had some of the healthiest people worldwide, however, not all men are as healthy as they could be.  Statistics from the Men’s Awareness site show that 29% are obese, 82% do not meet physical activity guidelines, 76% do not eat health food and 35% do not get enough sleep.

Not having healthy habits can create issues that take a quick turn in your overall well being.  Not eating healthy, sleeping well or getting regular exercise can lead to obesity.  Obesity can cause high blood pressure and diabetes.  High blood pressure and diabetes can cause heart disease.  Heart disease can cause a heart attack.  You get the picture.  It’s a domino effect that can be controlled very easy just by eating well, not smoking and incorporating a little exercise into your life.  This will also reduce your stress levels and allow you to sleep better each night.

The weather is starting to get better which is perfect timing to get outside and moving, or better yet, trying out a new physical activity.  Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body.  It is a powerful tool and not only improves your overall health, but also helps with your mental health.  Your body automatically releases good endorphins when you exercise.  This creates better mental clarity and just makes you feel good about yourself in general. 

If you’d like more information on some of the virtual activities that will be held, click here.  There are also endless resources with a great amount of valuable information on this site as well.  

If you are going to be starting a new activity or sport that you haven’t participated in before, read next week blog on how to prevent injuries!

 

Health Vantis

877-344-3544

www.healthvantis.ca

info@healthvantis.com

How Long Can You Wait?

2020 has not been kind to many of us. Canadians endured lockdowns and shutdowns, social isolation and other unpleasant life adjustments due to COVID-19. They also endured longer medical wait times as many experienced cancellations of their scheduled elective surgeries.

According to the new report issued by Fraser Institute on December 10, 2020, it is estimated that “the total number of procedures for which people are waiting in 2020 is 1,224,198, an increase of 15% from the estimated 1,064,286 procedures in 2019.” That means that 3.2% of Canadians were waiting for their elective medically necessary treatment last year. Each province has a different percentage of their population waiting – Quebec has the lowest – 1.97% of the population and Nova Scotia is much higher – at 9.97%. Only the province of Manitoba did better – their number of people waiting for medical procedures decreased.

The total waiting time between referral from a general practitioner and delivery of medically necessary elective treatment by a specialist averaged across all 12 specialities and 10 provinces surveyed, has risen from 20.9 weeks in 2019 to 22.6 in 2020. This is the longest wait time on record. It is 143% longer than in 1993 when it was just 9.3 weeks.

Each province fared differently in medical wait times, as medical care is in the hands of provincial governments. Province of Ontario seems to have the shortest wait times overall, from GP referral to delivery of medically necessary elective treatment it takes 17.4 weeks. The Maritime provinces had more than double wait of ON – PEI at 46.5 weeks, NS at 43.8 weeks and NB at 41.3 weeks.

Each of the 12 specialities had different wait times. Plastic surgery (34.1 weeks), Ophthalmology (34.1 weeks), Neurosurgery (33.2 weeks) and Orthopedics (34.1 weeks) had the longest waits. The largest increases in waits between 2019 and 2020 occurred for neurosurgery (+7.7 weeks), ophthalmological surgery (+5.7 weeks), and plastic surgery (+5.4 weeks). There were also decreases. Wait times for patients receiving treatment in fields like orthopaedics (−5.0 weeks), and medical oncology (−0.1 week).

In our next blog, we will look at wait times in orthopaedics in more detail. If you are unwilling to wait for your surgery and are able to travel outside of your province, we can help connect you with a private facility in the US or Canada. Please note that only a few private options are available in Canada. Give us a call to find out more details. Toll-free 877 344 3544.