As surgical wait lists grow, Canada’s private clinics cash in – CBC

Surgeries scheduled within weeks with price tags over $20K prompt concerns over 2-tiered health care

Feb 10, 2023

It’s a contentious reality in a country with a universal medicare system: Canadians can pay to sidestep the queue for surgeries with long waiting lists, such as hip and knee replacements.

Private clinics across Canada are advertising to prospective patients that within weeks they can get surgeries that typically take six months or more under provincial health plans. The price for a single hip or knee replacement runs in the range of $20,000 to $28,000, depending on the clinic.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic driving up surgical wait times, there’s some evidence suggesting a growing number of Canadians are pulling out their wallets to pay privately.

The trend is raising concerns about the potential for private clinics to drain more health professionals away from the already strained public system, and it’s provoking fears that two-tier health care is becoming a reality.

Read more:

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More