By Martin Patriquin - Monday, November 19, 2012 - 0 Comments
Quebec goes exploring in medical tourism market
The term “medical tourism” may conjure images of clinics in far-flung countries that offer a tempting proposition: world travel and cut-rate surgery. Yet a Quebec clinic hopes that Canadians will instead think of a warm bed, perhaps an invigorating facial scrub at a renowned Quebec City spa and the chance to skip the clogged lines that are the reality in much of the Canadian public medical system.
“Mix prevention with pleasure” reads the brochure for Fairmont Le Château Frontenac’s medical tourism package, which charges $1,000 for a two-night stay in a suite, including a massage and a complimentary bottle of wine. Medical examination costs are the client’s responsibility. The service, “a first in Canada,” according to the luxury hotel chain, is available to Canadian residents, and promises “VIP treatment” with “wait-free access to your medical professional.” Medical tourists visiting Quebec can avail themselves of six various tests, including mammograms, CT and PET scans, as well as a virtual colonoscopy. These are provided by Radiologie et Imagerie Médicale de la Capitale (RIMC), a Quebec City-based private clinic.
“We cater mostly to a business clientele who don’t have much free time,” says Jacques Lévesque, a radiologist and medical director at RIMC. “We had patients coming here from outside Quebec City, even from outside the province, and we were forever hindered with the fact that they had to leave the same day, so we partnered with Fairmont.” Continue…