Medical Facilitator for Private Surgery

When it comes to traveling for medical reasons, many people do not have much experience. We hope that we never will have to seek medical care outside our home area. However, long waitlists in Canada make us look for private options for surgery in Canada and the US.

It’s a good idea to see what pops up on Google search when you type in “private hip replacement in Canada”, but what about the process and preparation? What about safety and the reputation of the facility and doctor’s credentials as well as customer experience? And one of the most important questions – how much does it cost?

If you are a busy person, hiring a medical facilitator may be an option. A good medical facilitator is your health travel advocate and expert. They will make all the logistical arrangements for you, find out the answers to all your questions, and guide you through the process. You can rely on them to do all the legwork for you so that you can focus on your health. A good medical facilitator is able to make your medical travel a much less stressful process. They usually have relationships with safe and affordable medical facilities and visited them to view the area, meet with the doctors or administrators and walk the path a patient would when sent to that facility.

However, how do you know which company to hire, who is trustworthy and worth your money? Word of mouth is a great source. Ask around, reach out to your friends and relatives for a suggestion. Google the service and make an inquiry. Make a request to refer you to their past clients and take the time to talk to them. Pay attention to how they get paid. If they are transparent with their fees, it is an indication that they will not hide anything from you. Ask them where they are located. If they happen to be in your home town, meet with them face to face if possible.

In other words, take your time selecting your medical travel facilitator. You will be glad you did. Health Vantis helped many Canadians get successful private surgery. You can find out testimonials here or just reach out and we can connect you with some of our past clients who will be able to talk to you directly.

We are at toll-free 877 344 3544 or email

Private Surgery and When to Consider It

Canadian healthcare works well if there are no waitlists. Unfortunately, this is not the reality for many people. Covid-19 pandemic is creating even longer medical lines.

How Long Is Too Long?

Waiting for medical treatment has consequences. What the Canadian medical system thinks is an acceptable wait is not be acceptable to many Canadians. Those that live in pain can suffer from mental anguish and their condition can deteriorate leading to more complications.

In addition, every day that people live in pain is not exactly a great day. So if you have been waiting for a while, and think that you are no longer willing to wait, consider your private options. At the very least find out what they are so you can decide.

Are You Able to Travel?

Another thing to consider when thinking about going the private route is that in the majority of the cases one has to travel outside their local area to get private care. We work with medical facilities in the US and Canada. Many Canadians do not want to go to the US just yet. It’s understandable. Unfortunately, only a handful of private clinics exist in Canada.

Do Your Research!

If you are willing to travel and are considering private options, we suggest doing thorough research on the place and doctor you are going to see. How many procedures are done at the facility? What are the outcomes? Infection rates? How many of the procedures you are seeking a doctor does a month?

Also, consider the distances you will go. Flights over 4h carry higher risks of DVTs.

If you are busy or do not feel well to do your research, hire a reputable medical facilitator to guide you through the process and make all the arrangements for you. You should also ask the facilitator how they get paid. The answer will provide you with a little bit of info into the integrity of the facilitation business. Look for those that are open to disclose how they get paid.

If you have any questions or would like to know your private options, please give us a call at toll-free 877 344 4544.

5 Tips to Help with Exercise in Winter

We all know that winter and its colder temperatures can lead to hibernation moods.  Shorter daylight can bring about a lack of motivation to go outside for a run or drive to the gym. It is, however, very important to stay active in winter. In some parts of Canada winter last longer than some people would hope for, and the need to exercise does not diminish. Below are 5 tips to get moving in winter

  1. Bring your workouts indoor – get a gym membership. If a paid gym is out of the budget, set up a small area in your home where you can practice yoga, lift weights or follow an online workout class. All you will need is a yoga mat, your phone and a set of weights.
  2. Join your kids or grandkids in their outdoor play. Some fresh air and moving around is sure to follow!
  3. Dress according to the weather and go outside – walk your dogs, have a look around your neighbourhood, observe winter changes at a local park.
  4. Get a group of friends to commit to a winter exercise routine and motivate each other to stay on track.
  5. Embrace the winter! It gives us an opportunity to ski, snowboard, skate, snowshoe, walk (yes, it is still an exercise in winter!) Pick a winter sport you might enjoy and give it a try!

Free Medical Facilitation Service

Many people travel to get medical services outside of their country. An estimate of over 1 million Canadians left Canada in 2018 and received medical services someplace else. Some choose to hire a medical facilitator to help them navigate medical services in a foreign country with different laws and customs.

We at Health Vantis are such a firm. We help Canadians plan and travel for medical treatments and surgeries in the US.  However, US healthcare can be confusing and very expensive. Getting one price for surgery may prove to be nearly impossible. And even if you manage that on your own, you could be given an outrageous quote for a 20-minute outpatient surgery.

Health Vantis helps you get to a timely and safe treatment in an affordable manner. We can not do this for free. However, we believe in price transparency and honesty. Not all medical facilitation firms do their business this way. Some do not disclose what they charge their clients and bury their fee in one price. Some get paid by the facilities they refer their clients to. Such practices are illegal and unethical in the United States. In some other countries, they are not.

So what is the issue at hand you may ask? Does it matter if there is a full disclosure if I end up paying it anyway? The answer is two-fold. First comes trust. Health issues are very personal. You should be able to trust your medical facilitator. And they should be able to trust you and tell you what their services cost. This is a very delicate subject, but necessary to avoid being overcharged. Standard industry charge for medical facilitation is 10-15% of the surgery/treatment price.

Second is acting in the best interest of the client. If your facilitator gets paid by the medical facility or somehow hides it and holds a percentage out of your total payment – well, where do you think the facilitator will send you to? To the place that pays them, and not to the best suited or best qualified medical facility based on your medical issue. This is not acting in the best interest of the client.

When selecting your medical facilitator keep in mind that they are not working for free. Before committing to one, ensure that you trust them and they trust you and that they are not incentivized to act in their own interests, instead of yours.

End Of the Year – Top 5 Things To Do Right Now!

It is hard to believe, but the end of the 2018 year is just a month away. Thinking about what to do before its over? Here are our top 5 suggestions to make you a happier and, therefore, healthier person!

Check your spending on supplemental health insurance and health spending account

There may be some physiotherapist, chiropractor or massage therapist money left. Make an appointment to tend to your sore muscles or unaligned bones. Another good one to check is your vision program. Yearly eye exams and a pair of glasses or contacts are usually covered to a certain amount.

Plan a trip!

According to this study planning and anticipating a trip actually bring your happiness levels up. We live in a climate where winters are real, and sometimes just thinking about a nice beach and picturing yourself getting some warm sun gives us the strength to deal with snowstorms and freezing temperatures.

Make time to connect with those that have supported you and made you feel special

Even though we all get so busy before and during the holidays, a morning coffee or a special phone call matter to those that care about you. If you moved around a lot on your life, use Skype to connect and see your friends faces and smiles! It will keep both of you engaged and looking forward to the future – something we sometimes forget to think about when we are facing everyday routines. After all the holiday hustle and bustle is gone you will have something real to lean n – friends and family, your true fans!


Giving up your time for a bigger cause can be very rewarding. You can step outside your usual routine, meet new people and be part of a new organization or simply help your child’s school serve pizza or make classroom materials. Whatever the cause is, stay committed, even if it is an hour a month. Your valuable time contribution can change a person’s life for the better– how great is that?

Celebrate you

Feeling that you do not have time for yourself? Forgot when you were able to relax and stay in bed for an extra hour or took a nice mid-afternoon nap? Do it! Schedule the time in your calendar and treat yourself to the luxury of sleep, pampering or whatever else you have been thinking of these past 6 months. In order to do this successfully a little planning is needed. Your to do list needs to be taken care of and the rest is able to wait till you come out of your You-zone without feeling guilty of taking some time to yourself.


The Number of Joint Replacement Surgeries Is on the Rise – What Does It Mean to You?

In the last 15 years, Canada’s population grew by about 5 million people – from a little bit over 30 mil people in 2001 to a bit over 35 mil people in 2016. With the median age of Canadians now at 40.6, the growing age brackets are 45 to 64 and 65 and older, and yes, 90 and older. Great news – we are now living longer!

However, when we get older, health issues may start to appear. Most of us are familiar with arthritis and how debilitating it can be. So far, the only sure way to get rid of it is to have a joint replacement.

If we look at the numbers of joint replacement surgeries, those have increased as well – as probably expected. According to Canadian Institute of Health Information, the total number of hip replacement increased by 17.8% from 2012 to 2017 and the total number of knee replacement went up by 15.5% in the same five year period.

Medical Advances

The good news is that medical advances in joint replacement allow for minimum downtime nowadays. Although not yet widely available in all Canada, same day hip and knee replacements offer benefits. They minimize recovery time and pain and get you back to normal faster. Robotics aid in performing many surgeries nowadays. They allow for a more precise placement of the implant that leads to faster recovery and less room for surgical error, hence complications.

Impact on the Employers

If your employees are over 45 you will probably feel the impact of arthritis and its painful progression on your bottom line. Employees performance and productivity can be affected and the absenteeism may go up. What can you do to prepare?

Employers can help their employees get the minimally invasive joint replacement by offering Health Spending Accounts or covering a percentage of the surgery, should an employee choose to have it done privately, in Canada or the US.

Employers can also implement strategies that focus on safety, ergonomics, and wellness. These programs will contribute to preserving joint health for employees of all ages. A supplemental health insurance that covers physiotherapy will help a person pay for the expenses associated with rehab

Individual Impact

You are probably wondering if you will be waiting longer for a joint replacement surgery. It is not unreasonable to think so. The number of surgeries is going up, and the aging population is growing. Some provinces are investing in hiring more orthopedic surgeons to keep the wait times down.

One way to address the wait list issue is to obtain it privately. It is an investment in yourself and will get you moving and healthy faster.

As for the individual responsibility staying within healthy weight can prevent joint replacement. We wrote another blog about the relationship of weight and joint replacement. If surgery is your only option, be prepared to go through rehab. Local support groups are sometimes a good way to socialize with others who had the same surgery.

If you are interested in learning about private minimally invasive joint replacement surgery, Health Vantis can help. Reach out to us at toll-free 877 344 3544.

World Mental Health Day Oct 10, 2018

Today is World Mental Health Day.  Worldwide statistics say that 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 10 children experience mental health issues.  In Canada, 1 out of 5 Canadians experience mental health challenges.  One in 5 of those are children, 1 in 10 will have chronic issues, however, only 1 in 3 will actually seek out treatment.

[ctt template=”5″ link=”EjMne” via=”no” ]Mental health problems make up 70% of disability costs in the workplace.  According to the Mental Health Commission, this can cost the Canadian economy upwards of $50 billion dollars.[/ctt]Mental health problems make up 70% of disability costs in the workplace.  According to the Mental Health Commission, this can cost the Canadian economy upwards of $50 billion dollars. Many companies do not provide access to mental health services and create an unapproachable environment to discuss mental health.  This can lead to absenteeism, lack of productivity and high costs for the employer.

Mental health has been a squeaky wheel within the health care system in Canada for a long time.  Under the current guidelines for mental health, many services do not meet the eligibility requirement of what is deemed ‘medically necessary’ creating a gap.  Most psychological services must be paid for out of pocket by the patient, leaving something critical for well-being untreated.    When the burden of cost is left up to the individual, it’s easy to see why their mental health gets shoved aside.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made a vow to provide more support with regards to de-stigmatization and increased public spending for mental health but this will be a long and slow process.

How To Have Access To Affordable Treatment

  • Have your General Practitioner treat you or ask them to refer you to a Psychiatrist.  This should be covered by your Provincial Health Care.
  • Ask your employer if there is an employee assistance program. Find out if there are counseling services available to you or if they cover additional costs included with your benefits.
  • Look for mental health organizations such as the Canadian Mental Health Association, Mood Disorders Association of Ontario, and Schizophrenia Society of Ontario.  Services like this can direct people to the right place for treatment.
  • Try the Beacon app.

For Children

Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only national helpline for young people between the ages of 5 and 20. It offers:

  • 24-Hour confidential and anonymous support.
  • Professional counsellors and counseling options.
  • Online resources that provide tips and advice on the challenges that young people face.

Call 1-800-668-6868 to speak with Kids Help Phone. You can download the Always There app.

This information is provided by the Government of Canada.

If you are experiencing feelings of hurting yourself, call 911 or contact one of the crisis centers that are available 24/7.

Health Vantis


Best Medical Travel Company in Canada – How to Choose Yours

When looking for help and expertise in choosing your medical facilitator for a surgery abroad, there are certain criteria that need to be met in evaluating your medical travel or tourism facilitator. It is a very personal decision and one of most importance – to trust someone with your health. We wanted to bring up some factors for you to consider when you email or call a company. This checklist can be used in addition to your specialist or surgeon questions. We covered those in another blog. Best medical travel professionals are the ones that meet all three requirements listed below.


We get it, you are about to expose your health issues and concerns to a total stranger. It is not an easy thing to do. We suggest that you look for a company that offers a free initial consultation and can continue the conversation further. Asking the questions such as why you are passionate about helping people with medical treatments can be an eye-opener. A lot of us got involved in this field because we feel that Canadians should have options in healthcare. Medical care in Canada is free and can be excellent, but the delays in accessibility are a big issue. Most of us have experienced delays or care that was impersonal and inattentive. We faced the issues and we know how you feel – discouraged, frustrated and feeling down.


There have been a lot of press about medical tourists receiving subpar care abroad and coming home only to go back to their doctor with a complication or even worse, to an ER to address the poor outcomes of their surgery abroad. It is hard to say whether or not they were misled by their medical travel agent or their medical travel agent didn’t do their homework. We advise that you call around, google search and reach out to as many people as you know to get some background.

Another good indicator of honesty is price transparency. Are you paying one lump sum and the payment goes to your medical facilitator? If the answer is yes, then you really do not know how much you are paying for your surgery and how much you are paying to your medical facilitator. If your medical travel agent is not disclosing their fees, be cautious.


We are not talking about fancy accreditations here. Since medical tourism is a relatively young and unregulated profession, it will be hard to say which accreditation to trust. Medical Travel Association in the USA delivers a course during their congress and online. It is a good start.

However, if you can ask to talk to others about their experiences that may provide you with even more information about the facilitator. Sometimes it is a challenge to find a client that is willing to speak about their past experiences due to privacy. However, most will have at least one or two references that they can provide for you.

Trying to find a reputable medical facilitator will take some effort on your part. However, once it is done, they can do a lot of time and money saving for you and your health. If you would like to find out more, please give us a call. Your first hour of consultation is always free. Toll-free 1 877 344 3544 or email


Combine Surgery With Travel

Combine Surgery With Travel

In today’s world, time is money and we all seem to be limited or stretched for both.  Taking care of your health seems to be put on the back burner when we are in this position in life. Is that really the best thing to do considering we need our health to be good at things?  How about planning your vacation smartly?  You need to have a procedure done but have put it off because of time or money.  Why not consider these 3 options for ‘killing 2 birds with 1 stone’ and combine surgery with travel?

If you are like me and had major surgery(s), you would probably agree the first few days you will want nothing but sleep and rest.  Minor procedures such as plastic surgery or dental work may not be as limiting, however, something like an orthopedic surgery will not allow for you to be taking long walks on the beach.  In fact, that would not be a good idea to be walking on sand after such surgery due to the unevenness which could result in another injury.  You can still combine travel with surgery, or at the least, make the best use of your time.

Combine Leisure Travel with Medical Travel

Summer is upon us and one of the best things about it is that you get to vacation! Are you limited on how many vacation days you are allowed for the year?  Have you ever thought about combining your surgery or procedure with your trip?  You may not get to enjoy the entire trip but you could go a couple days early to get in some of the sites.

Combine Your ‘Snowbird’ Vacation with Medical Travel

Canadians flock south every year to escape the cold and long winters.  Many have condos or second homes they own with Arizona, Florida and Texas as their destination.  They will spend months basking in the sun wearing sandals and shorts while their friends and family back home are bundled up in winter gear.  

This is an ample time to have your surgery, treatment or diagnostic test, especially if the surgery is a major one.   Having extended access to the surgeon or doctor without adding another flight will help keep your risk down. This also gives the doctor a better eye on monitoring you.  Most doctors are going to give post op care that’s included in their pricing. This helps keep the continuity of care if you are able to do all of your recovery in one place.  

Combine Your Business Trip with Medical Travel

Many Canadians travel to the US for business frequently.   This may or may not even require any additional vacation time depending on what you need to have done.  Diagnostic tests can easily be done in a matter of hours.  And if your company is footing the travel part of the trip, definitely coordinate what you need to have done.  If it’s a minor surgery, you may be able to fly within a day or two.

Popular Spots

Top destinations Canadians travel to in the USA during the summer are: Washington DC, Boston, Orlando or other historic destinations.  Snowbirds prefer Arizona, Florida and Texas.  Business travel includes Chicago, New York or Boston.   It just so happens Health Vantis has facilities in or near all of the destinations. If you need a surgery, contact Health Vantis to help you coordinate one of these trips for you.   


Health Vantis


5 BS facts about medical tourism that people think are true

Medical travel can be rewarding and complicated at the same time. On one hand, you can get treated and feel better faster, on the other, you have to manage all the logistics and risks. Below are the untrue medical tourism facts and why they are such. You can make an informed decision about your health.

I have to fly across the globe to get a surgery

This one is really your choice. You can fly across the globe – let’s say from Canada to India if that is what you find to be the best possible care at the best possible price for you. However, we advise doing a thorough research of the procedure.  While it is true that some countries far away excel at a certain surgery, you will most likely find a similar, if not lower price within 4h flight from you. In fact, many Canadians can drive to a facility to receive private health care. Hiring a medical facilitator will pay off if you chose an agency with transparent pricing policy to do the job for you.

My doctor will be mad at me for going someplace else

According to our experience, it is highly unlikely. Most, if not all, Canadian doctors are aware of the waitlist situation and are sympathetic. In fact, Canadian physicians are encouraged to take steps to minimize the risks that medical tourism may present. The guidelines to follow from Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) are as follows:

  • Physicians should respect patients’ autonomy in seeking out-of-country procedures and other decisions regarding their healthcare.
  • Where appropriate, physicians should try to address to the best of their ability and knowledge questions from patients who are considering care abroad. They can also help patients minimize health risks associated with travel to certain countries.
  • Doctors should keep the lines of communication with patients open. For example, you could ask them to provide information about the medical treatment abroad, including their foreign medical record, and ensure the transfer of records is complete.
  • Be mindful of the patient’s need for follow-up care upon returning to Canada, including emergent care. Physicians should consider the urgency of the treatment required and their ability to provide information and follow-up care to the best of their ability and within the limits of their clinical knowledge.


I will not get the same quality of care as I can at home

This could not be further from the truth. Many surgeons and doctors working abroad were trained in the U.S., and have returned to their home countries to provide care to both local populations and medical tourists. However, depending on where you are going, you may have to do more research.

The USA and Canada follow very similar medical school and training requirements.  They are in fact the only two countries where an MD from USA and Canada can establish practices in either country without undergoing a re-certification. It is a unique arrangement and speaks highly of both countries’ medical education.

If you venture beyond those two countries, you will have to do a bit more research. Ensure that you check the doctor’s education and certifications as well as hospital accreditations. We wrote a blog on how to select your medical doctor and facility and encourage you to read it to get a better understanding of what is involved.


I have no legal recourse if something goes wrong

Any civilized country will have a law when it comes to pursuing legal action against a medical facility or doctor if something goes wrong. You are probably only familiar with the law in your country. The medical malpractice law in a country states who makes the decision, how you will be compensated and who will be paying the legal costs. A couple of things to mention:

  • Litigation costs in the US are twice those in other countries. Half of US payments go to legal costs rather than compensating patients
  • Other than the US, few other countries allow cases to be decided by jurors. Most use judges or administrative procedures to determine liability.
  • Canada and the United Kingdom impose caps on pain and suffering awards.
  • Most European countries prohibit contingency fees. The United States uses contingency fees.
  • Canada, Europe and Australia all have loser-pays provisions in their medical malpractice systems. The US does not.
  • Sweden’s average award for 2004: $22,000. US median award for 2005: $400,000 with 21% of awards being more than $1 million.
  • Internists in Canada pay between $1800 and $3200 per year for malpractice insurance. Internists in Cook County and Madison County, Illinois pay more than $41,000 per year.

The discussion of various countries malpractice laws is beyond the scope of this short blog. However, we can say that there are resources available to you if you have the time and desire to learn more.

My personal medical information is not safe

Medical facilities must follow a medical and personal information law in their country.  The nations of the Western world have similar perspectives toward privacy rights. In the US, that is HIPAA, and it is a very strict law when it comes to your records. European Union’s (EU’s) Directive on Data Protection and Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) regulate patient records and other sensitive information. If you are unsure about the privacy laws in the country of your intended travel, ask your medical facilitator.

If you are curious about traveling abroad for a procedure or surgery reach out to us. We offer a complimentary 1h consultation. Toll free 1877 344 3544 or