Tens of thousands of Canadians traveled abroad to receive medical care last year.
A study released by the Fraser Institute shows that over 45,000 Canadians left the country to undergo medical procedures in 2015.
Over 10,315 patients traveled from B.C. to countries, including the United States, for medical care.
Author of the study and senior economist Bacchus Barua says long wait times are prompting patients to seek help elsewhere.
“Canada does spend a lot of money on healthcare but at the same time we have fewer physicians per ca pita and we have some of the longest wait times for healthcare in the developed world.”
Last year, the average wait time in Canada was 18.3 weeks between seeing a general practitioner and receiving treatment.
“If you look at other countries with universal healthcare like Switzerland, Sweden, France, Australia, Germany, you will find that all of them have much shorter wait times than we do and still spend the same amount.”
The report does not say where Canadians traveled to but the study estimates more patients traveled abroad for urology procedures than any other treatment.
Other procedures included colonoscopies, gastroscopies and general surgery.