The True Cost of Bariatric Surgery Performed Abroad for Canadians

Obesity is a serious issue facing modern societies around the world, and Canada is no exception. Although diet and exercise can help, when they are not enough to curb obesity, bariatric surgery has been proven to be an effective solution.

In Canada, not everyone who would benefit from it gains free access to bariatric surgery – in fact, less than one percent of those eligible do. That’s why many are being lured to nations like Mexico where they can get the procedure done quickly at a tropical resort, and all for less money than it would cost them in Canada.

Of course there is a reason why these surgeries are cheap: the quality. As it turns out, many Canadians are returning home in worse health than when they left. Surgeons back in Canada are then called upon to rectify these botched surgeries, as their complications are often life-threatening.

Private health, public money

Nobody understands the bariatric surgery industry better than we do, so we sympathize with those who are stuck on waiting lists or do not have the funds to pursue private treatments. However, a growing issue is the use of public money to correct health issues that were caused by private decisions. When a person flies to Mexico to get a treatment, they have made that decision personally, but if they come back with health issues it is up to the public health system to remedy it.

Life-threatening complications

Doctors say that many of their patients are returning from medical tourist destinations with potentially catastrophic complications, including anastomotic leakages, a condition where the stomach almost ruptures. In fact, complication rates for out-of-country surgeries range anywhere from 42%-56%.To make matters worse, Canadian surgeons will not know exactly what the doctors in other nations did during your procedure, so becomes that much harder for them to fix it.

The costs of obesity

A government committee reported that the cost of obesity in Canada was roughly $7.1 billion dollars. This includes costs of health care and due to lost productivity. So aside from the health costs, there is a real-dollar figure that takes away from our economic system. According to Statistics Canada, an estimated 6 million Canadians are obese. The trend of “bariatric medical tourism” only adds to the existing strain that the obesity epidemic puts on our health system.

At Clinique Michel Gagner, we are committed to helping those with serious weight issues get healthier and improve their quality of life. Although medical tourism is becoming more and more popular, it is important to know that it comes with great risks. In the end, choosing to undergo a bariatric procedure at a trusted and reputable medical clinic in Canada will be better for yourself and our society in general.

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