30% of Canadian healthcare is already private. Doctors’ offices, clinics, physios, dentists, optometrist’s offices, x-ray clinics – they’re private – and it didn’t impact the public system.- Michael Campbell, Money Talks, Septembe 2020.
Despite having what many people around the world regard as one of the best government-run healthcare systems in the world, private health care in Canada is becoming more popular. The Canadian government provides nearly universal access for its citizens to physicians and other basic services, but there are extended wait times for certain procedures and other glaring gaps in coverage.
Canadian federal law stipulates that private healthcare providers cannot legally offer treatment and services that are covered by the Canada Health Care Act. Private health care services are typically covered by private insurance with reimbursements averaging about 80% of treatment cost.
“In the Fraser Health Region, in a single year, 308 people died waiting for treatment. That’s just one region. We’re talking thousands across the country. Right now, in BC, 40,000 patients are waiting longer for treatment than the BC government says is medically safe.” – Micheal Campbell, Money Talks, September 2020.
For people with private insurance who can access private providers, there are some significant advantages. The Canadian health care system does not cover some basic health needs, including optometry services, dental care and prescription medications. Many people seek private insurance as a supplement to Canadian government health care in anticipation of needing uncovered services and medications in the future.
Psychiatry, Physiotherapy and Leading Sectors in Private Healthcare
Mental healthcare is one segment of the private market that’s growing particularly rapidly. Responding in part to growing demand for private health care services, providers like Copeman Health Care Centres are expanding into service areas that are underserved by the Canadian system. Copeman is launching a mental health care department open to all patients that is addressing mental wellness needs and mental health challenges that have become manifest during the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020.
Another example of a leader in this sector, Sunshine Coast Health Centre is a private addiction treatment center that is highly patient-focused. The center’s treatment philosophy is based on a flexible approach tailored to individual patient needs. Underlying all its treatments is an impetus for restoring meaning and purpose to life, and creating a foundation of awareness and health achieved through nutrition and exercise.
Sunshine has recently begun to use repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for treating patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health disorders. rTMS is considered to be an effective and safe method for treatment, especially for patients who have proven to be resistant to conventional antidepressant medications.
TMS and Ketamine Treatment Centers Have Sprung up Throughout Canada
Another emerging depression therapy incorporates the drug Ketamine for patients with MDD who have not had success with antidepressants and talk therapy. Across Canada, from Halifax and Toronto in the east to Saskatchewan in the west, private healthcare has filled in gaps for patients who seek treatments outside the domain of the Canadian Medicare. Both Ketamine and TMS continue to draw favorable reactions from practitioners and patients.
Auxillary Services offered by Private Providers
Physiotherapists are considered to be primary care providers in Canada, but access to care may not be as accessible as some patients would like. Other services like medical aesthetics and services provided by nutritionists and dieticians can also be accessed through private companies who are quickly realizing the potential there is to grow businesses in these sectors in Canada.While Health Canada is involved in evaluating products that are used for medical aesthetic treatments, it is likely that if you seek out a procedure such as Botox injections or a cosmetic rhinoplasty for strictly aesthetic reasons, you will require private insurance. Similarly, wellness-related services like nutrition counseling and medical massage will likely require private insurance.
With the growth of private providers offering and niche medical treatments for a variety of conditions, Canadian residents have many new options to consider when it comes to healthcare. M.Ad is proud to offer guidance to private healthcare providers in any of the above-mentioned verticals who are looking to grow their businesses. We’d love to hear about your business! Contact Us to start the conversation.