Cross-Border Healthcare

In support of the City Council’s Strategic Plan Economic Development goals, the City of Surprise has been building relationships in the Greater Toronto market. Why Canada?

AZ Jobs infographic - $146,000 Arizona jobs are dependent on trade with Canada
Canadian companies infographic - 350+ Canadian companies operate in AZ
Bilateral Trade infographic - Bilateral tradeannually between Canada & Arizona $4.4 billion
housing infographic - 20,000 Canadians ownresidential property in Maricopa County
Spending infographic - 1 million+ Canadians visit Arizona spending $1.4 billion annually

Through these relationships, the Surprise Economic Development Department uncovered incredible potential for partnerships, business expansion and cross-border healthcare and innovation collaboration.

More than 63,000 Canadians reported leaving Canada for non-emergency medical care in a 2017 report, with wait times in Canada cited as the primary reason. 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!

We want Surprise to be a place that actively invites our Canadian friends to visit, refresh, rehabilitate and enjoy our family-friendly community in Arizona offering small town hospitality with access to all of the major amenities – including their Canadian health insurance!

To further explore this initiative, in February 2017, Mayor Sharon Wolcott announced plans to create the Surprise-Canada Cross Border Healthcare Task Force. 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.

Task Force Timeline

Task Force 2017-18 Timeline
  1. Feasibility Study
  2. Media

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 Sessionm, 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

Download the Feasibility Report | Watch the Work Session Presentation