When it comes to the medical trade, Canadians are willing to pay a premium for the same goods and services they pay for in the United States, according to a new report from the Canadian Association of Medical Colleges.
The report, released Thursday, finds that while medical trade has expanded in Canada over the past decade, the number of Canadians in the U.S. seeking care in the country is increasing as well.
“The number of Americans seeking medical care in Canada has grown dramatically,” said Dr. Matthew Kessel, president of the Canadian Medical Colleges Association.
“We’re seeing a significant increase in the number who are seeking care.”
That is partly due to the increasing number of medical students and residency students from countries that offer better health care services.
“This is a good indicator that the U (U.S.) is a much better place to be a medical student or a physician than it was a few years ago,” said Kessel.
In Canada, medical trade is estimated to have increased by more than 30 per cent in the past 10 years, the report found.
That increase in trade has helped to drive up the price of health care goods, with the cost of prescription drugs increasing by more that 25 per cent over the same period.
“While we still do not have a definitive answer on the future, we can say that we do see a greater number of U.s. physicians and physicians in the region who are getting more prescriptions and being prescribed more medications,” said the report.
That is particularly true of the region’s largest cities such as Toronto and Vancouver.
The average price of one of those drugs, the most expensive in the world, is now $15,700 per month.
In fact, a study from the University of Toronto, published in the British Journal of General Practice, found that the average cost of an MRI scan was now $5,700 in Toronto, compared to $6,100 in the year before.
In some cities, such as Ottawa, the cost for a CT scan was also skyrocketing.
The cost of a CT was $1,200 in the city in 2014 and now sits at $4,700, according a new analysis by the Canadian Institute for Health Information.
“There is no question that we are seeing more Canadians with health issues and a higher demand for our services,” said David Smith, president and CEO of the BCGIA.
“We have seen a tremendous increase in people coming to us for our specialty, and they’re asking for things that we haven’t seen in the last five to 10 years.”
He said while the average price for CT scans has been rising, there has also been an increase in other types of scans as well, including X-rays, PET scans and PET scans in combination with CAT scans.
In 2015, the average Canadian doctor spent about $1.3 million on health care expenses, including about $5.3 billion in wages, according the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
The increase in demand for health care is also being felt in other countries.
The number of people who requested a health care check up in Canada doubled from 4,000 in 2015 to 6,000 last year, according in the National Centre for Health Statistics.
And a recent report from Health Canada found that demand for preventive care, such to prevent certain cancers and to manage conditions such as hypertension, asthma and diabetes, is up significantly over the last few years.
“It’s clear that Canadians are paying more for their health care and more for the quality of their care,” said Smith.
“I think Canadians are very much aware of the value of health in their lives, and we’re seeing that reflected in the price they pay.