To Avoid Year Long Wait, Canadian Patient Flies to India for Hip Resurfacing

From the National Post, October 26, 2007:

Jeff Dolinsky, a dentist in Golden, B.C., travelled to India in the spring — and he didn’t go to sightsee, meditate or contort his body in front of a yoga master. Dolinsky’s goal was more prosaic — hip surgery.

When Mr. Dolinsky went under the knife in a hospital in Chennai (formerly Madras), he felt reasonably confident he had made the right decision.

After all, six other residents from the Rocky Mountain town of Golden also had undergone successful hip surgery in the same hospital with the same physician during the previous three years.

The patients from Golden are among the small but slowly growing number of Canadians flying to foreign countries for treatment — a for-profit phenomenon known as medical tourism.

Frustration over the long list of 875,000 Canadians awaiting for surgery and other procedures is what is driving people to “outsource” their treatment overseas.

Mr. Dolinsky, 48, had spent many months in severe pain from osteoarthritis. He sought treatment and was told that hip resurfacing — a less invasive alternative to hip replacement surgery — was his best option. He also was told he might have to wait a year if he wanted the procedure performed in B.C.

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