Minimizing Canadian Patients' Health and Safety Risks in Medical Tourism

Global health
Posted August 22, 2011
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Principal Investigator

Snyder, J

Co-investigators

Crooks, V

Funding

CIHR MPD-PHSI - $11,669

Duration

2011-2012

Abstract

Medical tourism (MT) involves patients intentionally leaving their country of residence outside of established cross-border care arrangements (e.g., care arranged by a provincial health authority). Medical tourists seek access to non-emergency medical interventions, often surgeries, which they typically pay for out-of-pocket. Research suggests that MT is a risky practice, exposing international patients to a number of health and safety risks. Though thousands of Canadians go abroad as medical tourists each year, health system responses have yet to be put in place to secure the health and safety of these patients. The primary goal of this Meetings, Planning and Dissemination (MPD) grant is to enable us to gather on-the-ground insights that will directly inform the development of a CIHR Partnerships for Health System Improvement (PHSI) grant. This PHSI grant will focus on developing applied, practice-focused health system interventions to address patient health and safety issues in MT in BC through a researcher-decision-maker partnership. We will accomplish this MPD goal through holding a consultative meeting with patient health and safety coordinator decision-makers from across BC and a limited number of end users. The consultative meeting proposed in this MPD is expected to have significant impact as it will: (1) provide the first insights into how Canadian patient health and safety coordinators understand the risks involved in MT and whether or not they are aware of instances of BC patients reporting negative outcomes from surgeries abroad; (2) build consensus regarding the identification of priorities for research and practice on this issue; (3) enable diverse stakeholders from across BC to have useful involvement in the early stages of applied research and intervention development; and (4) ensure targeted policy-maker and end user relevance through consultation with individuals from multiple sectors.