Why Do Patients Leave Canada For Bariatric Surgery?

sharma-obesity-bariatric-surgery21Carly Hohm is a masters student at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, who is looking for Canadian patients who have travelled outside Canada for bariatric surgery.

Cathy has chosen this topic for her master’s thesis because of the lack of evidence regarding the patient experience of engaging in bariatric tourism. Indeed, very little research has been done assessing the impact that engaging in bariatric tourism has on Canadians and the Canadian health care system.

Her hypothesis is that patients are engaging in the practice of bariatric tourism for reasons such as the the wait times to access the surgery in Canada through the public system being longer than five years on average, as well as the variability in funding for specific bariatric procedures between the provinces (some procedures only being offered in the Canadian private sector and therefore it is cheaper to go abroad for surgery).

Through her qualitative study Cathy seeks to answer two main research objectives:

1)What are the motivators driving Canadian patients to seek bariatric surgery outside of the Canadian Health Care system?

2)What is the patient experience upon returning to Canada post-surgery (experiences with complications and/or follow-up care)?

To answer these questions Cathy is conducting semi-structured interviews with former Canadian bariatric “tourists”

You can contact Cathy at chohm@sfu.ca

Your help is very much appreciated.

New York, NY