Montreal — In the last 20 years, medical wait times in Canada have nearly doubled, becoming a defining characteristic of our health care system. Despite the nation’s unwillingness to address the issue, long wait times have become a benign inconvenience when it comes to finding a solution to chronic pain. While delays for medical care vary depending on the specialty of the treatment and the province, a study conducted by The Fraser Institute assessed that the longest waiting period between a referral from a GP and a first orthopaedic surgical appointment was of almost 40 weeks, and of more than 575 days for an operation; that’s ten to twenty months of pain, loss of productivity and decreased quality of life.
Since public hospitals’ queuing is becoming a widespread trend in Ontario, patients are more and more compelled to turn to private clinics or to opt for treatments and hospitalisations out of province or abroad. In fact, more than 30% of patients treated in Quebec come from other Canadian provinces.
With more than 20 years of individual experience and ten as a team, the surgeons at The Montreal Institute for Special Surgery (ICS) are amongst the most sought-after specialists in the country. The private clinic is already the destination of choice for many Canadian professional athletes, Olympians, sports enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking for quick pain management solutions and short recovery time. A popular choice for insurance companies and those who want to beat the waiting game, reclaim their lives and be pain-free quickly, the Montreal-based team evaluates and treats shoulder, knee, elbow and hip without the need for a GP referral. And, best of all, if their diagnosis leads to conclude that surgery is necessary, it will be performed within two to three weeks, making your health a priority for you and your family. ICS sports medicine and orthopedic surgeons save patients time and energy by treating pain in a simple overnight visit in most cases.
“The public health system doesn’t play favourites,” explains Dr. Jacques Toueg, Medical Director and Orthopedic Surgeon at ICS. “Aside from living with limitations and pain, prolonged wait times may lead to a worsening of the condition and ultimately may make it more difficult to restore patients to health.”
The cost of waiting
Although the number of hours lost in extensive delays for medical interventions continues to grow, your time and health are not the only ones to take a hit. Your wallet is also impacted with an estimated cost of waiting for care in Canada reaching $1.9 billion last year – considering only an average work week. A hefty bill for a lack of efficient care for the 1,040,791 procedures that were in queue in 2017.
When physical condition impacts someone’s quality of life, prevents them from sleeping or affects their ability to work or earn a living, time is money. If you’re self-employed, a business owner, on long term disabilities or an employer footing the bill for replacement staff and missing out on a peak sales period, it has a significant impact on the bottom-line and can sometimes jeopardize a business. “By acting without delay, we enable patients to regain their mobility quickly,” states Dr. Khalil Masri, Orthopedic Surgeon at ICS. “Prompt treatment solutions means going back to work and to living life to the fullest.”
At ICS, specialists will diagnose and treat patients within a few weeks, using non-invasive surgery techniques to get patient back into shape as fast as possible, striving to avoid unnecessary complications and scarring. With only an overnight stay in Montreal, the entire process is a minute price to pay in contrast to the incremental loss of income expected when going through the public system. Plus, ICS physicians do not participate in the public plan (RAMQ). As a completely accredited private center, they are legally authorized to issue an invoice to an individual or company, benefiting employers, business owners and insurers.
Hospital to home in 48 hours
Even though ICS has gained notoriety for treating Olympians and professional athletes in the fields of hockey, tennis, boxing, football and skiing, it is their high level of care and slew of specialized services that made them a popular destination in La Belle Province. Only an hour flight away or a few hours drive from Toronto or Ottawa, ICS is an authority in orthopedic surgery by arthroscopy (using a camera) of the elbow, shoulder, hip and knee, expertly curing problems such as rotator cuff, torn ligaments and meniscus to only name a few.
Upon receiving your exams, X-rays, MRIs and or ultrasounds, one of the clinic’s specialists will promptly review before the patients catches a short flight from any of Ontario’s biggest cities to attend an in-person consultation immediately followed if necessary, by an operation the next day. ICS has ultra modern surgical rooms, accredited by the Quebec Board of Accreditation (CQA) and the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services.
Other services are also available including injection under ultrasound for the treatment of tendinitis or osteoarthritis and platelet-rich plasma injections (PRP) for shoulder, knee, elbow or hip pain. The medical team are experts at treating musculoskeletal problems (shoulder and knees), tendonitis, dislocations, tendon tear, meniscus and ligament tear or osteoarthritis, to name only a few.