What to consider when researching a trip for healthcare purposes:
- Is this medical facility the best choice for me?
- Does the doctor have experience dealing with my condition?
- Am I comfortable with the facilities the hospital offers?
- Does my medical condition allow me to undertake long distance medical travel?
- How long do I need to stay after my procedure and am I comfortable staying away from home during this time?
- Do I need a partner to accompany me during my visit and will my partner be comfortable assisting me with my recovery in the USA?
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SERVICES FOR CANADIAN SNOWBIRDS
Family Physician Listing For Canadian Snowbirds
- We provide Canadian “snowbirds” with listings for qualified Family Physicians (commonly referred to as “GPs” – General Practitioners) in the USA.
- Canadians who winter in the USA often have real difficulty in locating GPs who are accepting new and temporary patients. We assist Canadian patients in finding Family Physicians to take care of their medical needs while they are in the US for the winter.
- Canadian snowbirds still require a GP in the US for prescription medication filling, treatment of common maladies, monitoring of chronic conditions, etc.
- We list Family Physicians in the areas of the US most commonly visited by Canadians during the winter including Florida, Arizona, South Texas, Southern California and Las Vegas.
TIPS TO PREVENT A PROBLEM
- Sign an informed consent document which assumes that you have knowledge of the risks of intervention
- Obtain a second opinion, if need be
- Read and ask about the recovery time
- Talk to a couple of patients on internet forums or at your local clinic
- Plan for the recovery period
- Allow some flexibility in your schedule – to cover for any unexpected delays
- Ask the doctor for detailed instructions following the procedure
- Keep your local physician informed
- Seek your doctor’s advice on possible aftercare needs.
- Purchase medical travel insurance
After your cosmetic surgical procedure, you are likely to continue ongoing consultation with your US surgeon.
If you do develop any complications once you are back in Canada, you should see your family physician immediately or go to the Emergency department of your local hospital. You will need to keep a set of all medical documentation related to your American treatment.
BEFORE AND DURING YOUR STAY IN THE USA
Choose a facility and destination
Decide (upon talking to the doctor) how long you need to stay
Make a detailed plan for your stay which may or may not include sightseeing
Answer the following questions to plan your recovery:
- How many days do I need to spend in recovery before I can fly back home?
- Will the hospital arrange for a nurse to visit me at the hotel during recovery period?
- Does my recovery need additional care after I fly back home or can I resume my regular work right away?
- How far is the hospital from my hotel? Is transport readily available? If yes, how much does it cost?
- How many times will my surgeon visit me after the surgery?
- Will I be given complete after care advice and discharge summaries?
- Are the prescribed medications available in USA? In Canada? What do they cost?
- Do I need to return for any follow up consultations?
Always carry personal identification (ID) particularly your Canadian passport as well as the name and contact information for your American physician.
Don’t be tempted to reduce the number of days allotted for recovery by your doctor. If you expect a long recovery period, you may consider treatment in a more “holiday destination” with resort type amenities, where you can spend time relaxing and recovering.
Sightseeing doesn’t necessarily have to be after your medical procedure, if you suspect that you may not be able move actively after your medical procedure then it’s better to carry out your sightseeing plans before your medical procedure. You can schedule your sightseeing after your medical procedure if your doctor thinks you will be fit to undertake active travel after your procedure.
Before you choose a doctor for your medical travel procedure, call him/her directly to ask any questions or voice any concerns that you may have. A friendly doctor will make your after-care process much smoother.
Before starting your medical travel, ensure that the treating doctor can evaluate and send your medical records via the internet or using an electronic medical records system.
BACK AT HOME
Before you leave the hospital, make sure that you obtain your complete chart notes, discharge summary, results and treatment records, and ensure that you discuss a post-recovery plan with your healthcare provider. Some surgical procedures may require additional follow up procedures such as the removal of stitches and use of prescription medicines to prevent infection during recovery. Sometimes these follow-up procedures can, or must be done back in Canada for logistical reasons. Ensure in advance that your regular Canadian doctor is willing to provide this case for you. Most will.
Steps to follow when you return from your medical travel:
- Get in touch with your local physician for a routine check up and blood investigations that may be recommended to ensure that your body is recovering as per plan. Get all the necessary contact information and a preferable contact time from your foreign doctor so that the local physician can contact him if necessary.
- If a medical travel provider offers after care service back home, you need to need to get in touch with their medical staff and obtain aftercare and other necessary services. Your medical information will be sent electronically to the after care medical staff at your home destination.
- Adhere closely to the after-care plan proposed by your doctor. Minor infections at the surgery site can be easily prevented by the appropriate use of antibiotics and immunity levels can be boosted if necessary after your medical travel, minor interventions may be necessary to ensure the best possible results.
GUARANTEES & LIMITATIONS TO TREATMENT
Whether at home or abroad there are no guarantees regarding the result of surgical or other medical procedures, especially with complex procedures.
Standards of legal protection for patients can vary from state to state so we recommend:
- that you research the legal situation
- call the relevant state’s Better Business Bureau or similar organization
- use the web to research patient protection laws.
- ask for an outlined agreement or contract which clearly describes the terms and services provided as well as the agreed price and refund policy.
Check the refund policy in case:
- You are not satisfied with the facilities once you arrive
- You have another medical condition that causes complications and the surgery needs to be cancelled
- All the procedures you paid for are not available
There are no guarantees when considering the following:
- Inherent risks associated with surgeries which are not a result of surgical error
- Changes associated with weight gain/loss or pregnancy since the surgery
- Those patients who leave the hospital before the advised recovery period is complete.
- Patients who smoke or are alcohol or drug dependent
- Patients whose body-mass index is in the obese range
- Patients with unknown or undisclosed pre-existing medical conditions
- Patients with psychiatric conditions depression, schizophrenia or anxiety
You must clarify the provider’s policy regarding post operative care and follow-up care and whether follow up visits are covered within the prescribed fee. This can vary according to type of procedure.
Guarantees are usually provided for medical device implants where the manufacturer of the instrument supplies a warranty. However, one guarantee you CAN ask for is that if a complication should arise, the surgeon will correct it without you having to pay additional fees. If such a guarantee is provided, there is a review process in place to ensure fair treatment for both the parties.
The review committee will then look over the evidence and decide. This determination will essentially be:
- That the complication is related to surgery, hospital treatment or admission
- That the complication is not related to unrealistic expectations of the client, previous medical or pre-existing conditions, the client not fully following post operative or surgeons’ instructions
COMMITMENT TO PATIENT & SITE VISITOR CONFIDENTIALITY
CanAmerica Health adheres to all applicable Canadian patient confidentiality legislation including provisions of the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Document Act (PIPEDA), and all provincial personal health information legislation.
CanAmerica Health does not employ medical professionals nor do we provide medical advice. We connect patients to healthcare providers. We encourage and recommend that all CanAmerica Health website users contact the state licensing board to ensure that the healthcare provider they are considering is duly licensed and allowed to practice medicine.
CanAmerica Health has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided on this website. However, the information is provided “as is” without warranty. CanAmerica Health does not accept responsibility or liability for any procedures, surgeries, or treatments that are performed by Healthcare Treatment Providers listed on this website.
No warranties, promises and/or representations of any kind, expressed or implied, are given as to the nature, standard, accuracy or otherwise of the information provided in this website nor to the suitability or otherwise of the information to your circumstances. This website provides links to other websites owned by third parties. The content of such third-party sites is not within our control, and we cannot and will not take responsibility for the information or content therein. Links to any third-party sites are not to be taken as an endorsement by CanAmerica Health of the third-party site, or any products promoted, offered or sold on the third-party site.