Many Halton, and Ontario, residents who require dialysis treatment are unable to travel for extended periods due to their health needs. However, the provincial government is looking to make health care more accessible abroad.
Jan. 1, 2020, will see the launch of a new program that will fund out-of-country dialysis services.
The Ontario Renal Network will operate the program with funding from the government and patients will receive $700,000 annually to run the new program.
“Our government listened to Ontarians on dialysis about the need to preserve and protect their ability to safely travel and work abroad,” said Christine Elliott, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This new program to fund out-of-country dialysis services will ensure hemodialysis patients can plan trips confident they can access the medically necessary services they rely on.”
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The launch of this new program will coincide with the wind-down of the inefficient Out-of-Country Travellers Program.
According to Ontario’s Auditor General, the province’s Out-of-Country Travellers Program had numerous issues over the last year. The government also spends approximately $2.8 million a year for the Out-of-Country Travellers Program, which pays about $9 million in claims annually.
It was found that the program spends a third of its funding on administration alone, with 90 per cent of its payments going directly to the private travel industry, which submits claims on behalf of their insured clients.
“Simply put, the Out-of-Country Travellers Program was an irresponsible use of taxpayer money,” said Elliott. “The program does little in the way of providing meaningful travel coverage or value to taxpayers, especially when private insurance plans are readily available and offer the level of coverage everyone should have when travelling.”
Insured Ontario residents will continue to receive coverage for physician and hospital services when visiting or moving to another Canadian province or territory.
What do you think of these planned changes?