Detroit Free Press

Canadians visit U.S. to get health care
Detroit Free Press

Hospitals in border cities, including Detroit, are forging lucrative arrangements with Canadian health agencies to provide care not widely available across the border.

Agreements between Detroit hospitals and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for heart, imaging tests, bariatric and other services provide access to some services not immediately available in the province, said ministry spokesman David Jensen.

Dany Mercado, a leukemia patient from Kitchener, Ontario, is cancer-free after getting a bone marrow transplant at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit.

Three Windsor-area hospitals have arrangements with Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, to provide backup, after-hours angioplasty. Authorities will clear Detroit-Windsor Tunnel traffic for ambulances, if necessary. The Detroit Medical Center also provides Canadians complex trauma, cancer, neonatal and other care.

« In the last few years, we’ve seen more and more Canadian patients, » said Dr. J. Edson Pontes, senior vice president of international medicine at the DMC. They include Canadians such as Mercado, whose care is reimbursed by Canada’s health system, as well as people who pay out of pocket to avoid waiting in Canada.