The city of Surprise established a cross border healthcare task force to determine the feasibility of bringing Canadian healthcare services to Arizona. The idea is to set up a place in Surprise where Canadian doctors can practice, and the snowbirds can get medical services and rehabilitation in a warm climate.

The task force is co-chaired by Marc Kealey, CEO of Kealey & Associates and City of Surprise Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic, the task force includes members from the healthcare, legal and development sectors.

With wait lists in Canada for non-emergency medical procedures reaching 12 to 18 months, more than 63,000 Canadians left Canada for care last year. A 2016 report issued by VISA and Oxford Economics, valued the Medical Tourism industry at a $100 billion, with up to 25% year-over-year growth rate for the next 10 years!

Watch the discussion below about the Surprise-Canada Cross-Border HealthCare Initiative with Jeanine Jerkovic, Surprise’s economic development director, and Marc Kealey, chief advocate at K & A Inc., public policy and health management company in Canada.

Feasibility Study – Winter 2018

A Report on the Feasibility of Cross‐Border Healthcare for Canadians in Surprise, Arizona was produced in winter 2018 following research, discussions and an online survey of Canadian citizens, which received 657 responses. Highlights of the study were presented at the Surprise City Council’s February 6, 2018 Work Session, which also included comments from The Right Honourable John N. Turner, 17th Prime Minister of Canada.

Conclusions Include:

  • Arizona remains a popular travel destination for Canadians across Canada, and estimates indicate the healthcare market potential will increase
  • The existing Arizona healthcare market for Canadians seeking care in the State represents 17,500 patients and $42 million (USD) annually without any proactive medical travel marketing
  • The current cohort of mostly Western Canadian, extended-stay visitors to Arizona who responded to the City of Surprise survey are already receiving healthcare outside of Canada, and making it easier to access Canadian healthcare in Arizona and receive reimbursement from their respective Provinces would be of interest to them by a factor of 97% approval
  • Surprise provides an optimally hospitable environment to support this pilot project as a willing host, offering: a significant concentration of Canadian part-time residents and visitors; outstanding proximity to regional healthcare centers of excellence; a dedicated Canada-focused economic development strategy; solid growth projections; stability of climate and market accessibility; and a community emphasis on wellness, health, education and caring

The feasibility study is still being conducted to figure out the cost of bringing Canadian doctors to Surprise. Through these relationships, the Surprise Economic Development Department uncovered incredible potential for partnerships, business expansion and cross-border healthcare and innovation collaboration.