Healthcare and Medical Treatment in Canada – Information for Expats

Canada’s primary healthcare system provides services to individuals, families and communities. It also involves a proactive approach to preventing health problems and ensuring better management and follow-up once a health problem has occurred.

These services are publicly funded from general tax revenues without direct charges to the patient.

A patient may be referred for specialised care at a hospital or long-term care facility or in the community. The majority of Canadian hospitals are operated by community boards of trustees, voluntary organisations or municipalities.

Healthcare services are mainly provided in long-term institutions, paid for by the provincial and territorial governments, while room and board are paid for by the individual; in some cases these payments are subsidised by the provincial and territorial governments.

Healthcare services can also be provided in the home and/or community. Referrals to home care can be made by doctors, hospitals, community agencies, families and potential residents.

These services, such as specialised nursing care, homemaker services and adult day care, are provided to people who are partially or totally incapacitated. Needs are assessed and services are coordinated to provide continuity of care and comprehensive care.

Provincial services

The provinces and territories also provide coverage to certain groups of people – seniors, children and social assistance recipients, for example – for health services that are not generally covered under the publicly funded health care system.

These supplementary health benefits often include prescription drugs, dental care, vision care, medical equipment and appliances (prostheses, wheelchairs, etc.), independent living and the services of allied health professionals, such as podiatrists and chiropractors.

Funding the system

Like the NHS in Britain, Canada provides a good but not perfect system of healthcare. The level of coverage varies across the country and many Canadians have supplemental private insurance coverage through group plans, which covers the cost of these supplementary services.

The Canadian Medical Association believes an estimated four million of Canada’s 33 million population don’t have a family doctor and more than one million are waiting for treatment.

Canada has 2.1 physicians per 1,000 people, while Belgium has 3.9, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Much of the resentment towards the healthcare system is caused by the fact that so much of Canada’s already high tax goes towards it. The average Canadian family pays about 48 per cent of its income in taxes each year and, while rates vary from province to province, Ontario, the most populous, spends around 40 per cent of its tax revenue on health, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

The federation, which campaigns for tax reform and private enterprise in healthcare, believes the system is suffering serious financial challenges. It calculates that by 2035, Ontario will be spending 85 per cent of its budget on healthcare.

The federal government and most provinces acknowledge there’s a crisis: a lack of physicians and nurses, state-of-the-art equipment and funding. In Ontario, more than 10,000 nurses and hospital workers are facing layoffs over the next two years unless the provincial government boosts funding, says the Ontario Hospital Association, which represents healthcare providers in the province.

In 1984 Parliament passed the Canada Health Act, which affirmed the federal government’s commitment to provide mostly free healthcare to all, including the 200,000 immigrants arriving each year. The system is called Medicare (no relation to Medicare in the United States).

Despite the financial burden, Canadians value their Medicare as a marker of egalitarianism and independent identity that sets their country apart from the United States, where some 45 million Americans lack health insurance.

In 2000 The World Health Organisation ranked Canada 30th in the provision of public healthcare and the United States 37th. France’s system was ranked the best, followed by Italy, Spain, Oman and Australia

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Canada Tries to Stop Flow of Drugs into the US

As more and more cities and states set up websites and pass measures to allow for importing price controlled Canadian drugs into the US to control the rising cost of healthcare, Canada is starting to take notice on the impact of such practices on it’s government run healthcare system. Canada doesn’t like what it sees, and for good reason. Canada has a population of around 30 million and is not set up to handle the volume of medications needed to supply a country like the US with it’s aging population of over 250 million.

The Canadian Health Minister is considering a number of measures that would severely limit the ability of Canadian doctors to co-sign an American prescription in order to fill a prescription in Canada. One measure would require that the Canadian doctor actually, physically examine the patient before signing a prescription. Canada wants to protect it’s cheap medications and realize that if things continue the way they are going, pharmaceutical companies are going to demand price increases, thereby driving up the costs for their own citizens.

What most Americans fail to realize is that the reason medications are cheaper in Canada is because the Canadian government made deals with the pharmaceutical industry to either accept price controls or else they would create their own generic industry and not recognize American patents. So the pharmaceutical industry figures some revenue is better than none and agreed since there were still free markets where they could price their drugs to recoup the R&D costs to develop new medicines. Also, Canadian citizens pay more for their drugs by way of much higher taxes. The current income taxes for Canada are;

Federal tax rates for 2005 are:

16% on the first $35,595 of taxable income;

22% on the next $35,595 of taxable income;

26% on the next $44,549 of taxable income; and

29% of taxable income over $115,739.

And Provincial / Territorial tax rates (an example) in New Brunswick

9.68% on the first $32,730 of taxable income, +

14.82% on the next $32,732, +

16.52% on the next $40,965, +

17.84% on the amount over $106,427

Not to mention the higher sales tax paid by Canadians. So if Americans think that government run and/or subsidized healthcare would be cheaper for them, they should look at the real cost to run the Canadian healthcare system.

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Better Healthcare Needed

While I’m conservative on many issues, when it comes to healthcare I’m a little more moderate. I have a social conscience and believe better healthcare coverage is needed for the thirty to forty million Americans who are without healthcare in this country. I take a middle of the road approach to healthcare. I disagree with both the Democrats and Republicans when it comes to healthcare.

On one side of the issue are the Republicans who are against the type of comprehensive healthcare found in Canada. The Republicans argue that having a comprehensive healthcare system like Canada would cost too much and raise taxes through the roof. They also argue that a comprehensive healthcare system is hard to administer and would be inefficient.

On the other side of the issue are the Democrats who argue that it should be a right to have healthcare and that a caring society takes care of its citizens. They argue that it’s horrible to have so many Americans who don’t have insurance coverage. They also argue that children are the innocent victims in the current healthcare climate.

The Republicans are correct when they say that a comprehensive healthcare system is expensive and would greatly increase taxes. That’s why I disagree with a comprehensive system but I’ll discuss this later. The Republicans fail to realize that no child or adult is refused healthcare in Canada. Canadians are also allowed to get preventative care. The preventative care for health issues like early liver disease are treated immediately and people don’t have to wait until they’re near death to receive emergency care. A condition that is left untreated could turn into a serious problem later.

I agree with the Democrats that a caring society should take care of its citizens. Children and adults without healthcare should be taken care of. I know too well the feeling of being laid off and being without healthcare. Yes we have COBRA available to us but it can cost anywhere from 500 to 1000 dollars per month. Who can afford that. In Minnesota where I live, if a person goes a certain period without healthcare insurance they become uninsurable. This is nonsense. Something must be done.

I advocate for an expanded healthcare system. The Government should provide basic insurance for those people who don’t have medical insurance. The majority of Americans have healthcare and I believe that corporate America would continue to provide healthcare insurance for their employees if the Government were to provide basic healthcare to people who don’t have medical insurance. The reason is that companies would want to attract talented employees. They would use their benefits to lure employees to their companies.

The federal government needs needs to provide coverage for those Americans who are laid off and are without insurance. It’s an unfair system when a person who is laid off (at no fault of their own) is left without healthcare coverage for themselves or their children. This is a heartless system. Why should the innocent children suffer? Expanding healthcare to these people is fair and just. The cost of expanding the system wouldn’t be nearly as expensive as a comprehensive system and America can afford this coverage.

Another solution to making the healthcare system better is to create legislation to prevent frivolous lawsuits. Something needs to be done to limit the amount of lawsuits and the crazy monetary awards that are being paid out to settle these claims. While doctors and healthcare providers should be held accountable for their mistakes, the monetary awards are burdening the system. The monetary awards are excessive and needless. If there was legislation to curtail the current trend of suing healthcare providers and receiving excessive monetary awards, healthcare would be more affordable and our rates wouldn’t continue to increase as much. I worked in the healthcare field and the amount of frivolous lawsuits and excessive monetary settlements are mind boggling. I also believe that people who bring about frivolous lawsuits should have to pay for all the legal costs of the people they’re suing and be made to pay punitive damages.

If the federal government were to create an expanded helthcare system and reduce the frivolous lawsuits and excessive settlements, the healthcare system would be better, more fair and would take care of those people who don’t have healthcare.

UPDATE ( June 9th, 2005 ruling by Supreme Court of Canada): “The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a Quebec law banning private medical insurance in a decision that represents an acute blow to the publicly financed national health care system” (, June 10th). In its ruling, The Supreme Court of Canada remarked that waiting lists for health services have become so long that they violated Quebec’s Charter of human Rights (

The court also mentioned that there is evidence that patients die or have died as a result of waiting for services (
Many Canadians argue that patients may wait for long periods of time to receive services but that life threatening health problems are taken care of. The court’s comments seem to contradict that type of argument.
It is expected that their will be lawsuits against other provinces which ban private billing of health services.

According to the New York Times article, Canada is the only industrialized nation that “outlaws privately financed purchases of core medical services” (

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The Fine Print of Health Care in Canada

The Canadian Federal Government subsidizes the system of healthcare in Canada. This is done through the taxes and individual pays to its province and these contributions are put back into the health care system of the province. This single payer system, as it is called, allows for the payment of the entire cost of the services by the government at the same rates throughout the country.

Since Canada is the second largest country in the world, it’s the national system of healthcare in Canada is governed by the Canada Health Act. The law provides for universally available coverage for permanent residents regardless of income levels. This coverage is comprehensive and can be availed of throughout the country as it is publicly administered. The provinces and territories are the primary providers of their healthcare plans and each of them must provide prepaid coverage for all medical services from provision, public health and prescription of necessary care for the individual.

Another benefit of the system is the provision for partial reimbursement of treatments obtained while outside Canada. It is also advised that Canadians traveling overseas obtain the proper medical insurance to avoid the higher medical costs in other countries especially for emergency care. As for prescription medication, the Canada Health Act requires hospitals to provide for free the necessary medication and supplies for the individual so long as they are admitted into the hospital.

Thus the main issue in the system of healthcare in Canada is the burden of costs for post hospital care. Drugs and prescription medication are very expensive in the country also rehabilitative treatment such as physiotherapy, dental treatment and other services are not covered by the system. This is addressed by the employer-employee comprehensive medical insurance coverage. Though only 80% of this rehabilitative cost is assumed in this program, this is already a big savings for you. The remaining 20% can be covered by a private medical insurance provider after your payment of their premiums.

As observed by many experts, the quality of healthcare in Canada differs among the provinces comprising the country. This is most especially highlighted in the rural communities of the country, as many specialized medical functions are not available compared to the urban areas. This is due to the differentiated funding and policies of the provincial governments and this correlates directly to the quality of health care in the areas. A secondary issue is the increasing flight of medical professionals to the more lucrative practices in the United States. This is clearly seen in the nursing profession, as many Canadian nurses opt to go to the United States for higher pay. A third issue is the increasing waiting time for patients to see specialists or choose to undergo elective surgery or even have diagnostic testing. This is clearly seen in the crowded emergency rooms in many of the hospitals all across the country.

The Federal government has undertaken programs to address these concerns in the system of healthcare in Canada. These include subsidies for increased manpower allocations for medical professionals, improvement of facilities and increasing pay and improve working conditions. The programs are now being felt throughout the country and was even highlighted in the Expat Forum, “despite the difficulties, the healthcare system bodes well for Canadian residents and future migrants.”

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Healthcare in Canada – Essential Information on the Canadian Healthcare System

Healthcare in Canada is a vital subject for anyone moving to or residing in Canada. The Federal Government does provide some funding from the taxpayer for the health system, however, each Province is individually responsible for its own Healthcare system.

There is a basic free system (Alberta, BC and Ontario charge the residents a healthcare tax or premium to pay for this!) that every legal resident and citizen of Canada is entitled to which includes access to a family doctor and most hospital treatment (definitely emergency care). This is governed by the Canada Health Act (1984) which lays down the basic entitlements of free coverage. Prescription drugs and supplies are provided in the hospitals in most cases as long as you remain an in patient.

The costs start to mount up for prescription drugs and medical supplies when you are not in hospital. Drugs are bought from the pharmacy at the standard cost which for specialist drugs can run into hundreds of dollars for one course of treatment. Other medical services will probably not be covered such as Physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment and massage therapy. Custom made medical supplies such as knee braces or orthotics can cost over a thousand dollars to purchase in some instances.

The amount of coverage and standard of Healthcare in Canada is described in detail on the main Government site but does vary between Provinces however. The federal taxes are used for some level of coverage by being distributed between the Provinces – the residents of each Province may then have to pay additional levies.

Each Province also has its own regulations for the practitioner’s qualifications and even nurses will have to recertify if they move between Provinces. This does cause confusion to new migrants to Canada as most foreign qualifications just may not be enough and will most likely result in some level of retraining. Dental treatment is normally NOT included in the healthcare system and you will have to pay for treatment. Dentists are private practitioners so don’t expect cheap prices – definitely ensure you have dental coverage if possible.

Many Canadian employers offer fairly comprehensive benefits packages that include coverage for Prescription drugs, Dental and other services such as physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment though this is most often only up to 80% of the cost. As each Province has different rules for qualifying times to gain access for the free service ensure you thoroughly research your Province of choice via the links above. You would normally pay for the drugs/services and then claim back the allowance so keep your receipts.

If your employment doesn’t come with coverage or you wish to improve it you will need to take out a private policy – there are many available so ensure you research each one and find one that is suitable to your budget and needs.

If you require short term coverage for when you first arrive in Canada, make sure you have a proper policy (travel insurance may not be sufficient) and CHECK you are covered.

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Chiropractor – A Health Care Invention

A chiropractor is defined as a health care device with a professional touch for the diagnosis and intensive treatment of neuromuscular disorders. Their emphasis is on neuromuscular disorders, especially spine.

Most of the chiropractors are used as a pain reliever for the patients. That is why it has been given the title of being an alternative medicine to the subjected treatment.

Chiropractors firmly and honestly believe in the kind of relationship that developed between our nervous system and spine, this does not come as a surprise as we have already mentioned that the major area of focus for the chiropractor is the spine.

Here is the listing of few of the benefits received from Chiropractic health care

1. A great boost for stress reliever

It is a well known fact that too much of stress will always result in a bad outcome. Neither is it good for health nor is it good for our well being. When our nervous system moves out a bit from the track and our skeletal system seems to have shaken off from their proper position, there are very high possibilities that your entire body will feel out of balance as well. This is what will lead to stress in your entire functioning of the body. Here is when the functioning of a Chiropractor comes into use. It helps in balancing that stress and your body is immediately made to come back to its normal balance. Once you are made to adjust to this functioning you will feel much more equipped to manage this stress if it happens to arise again.

2. Posture perfection by Chiropractor usage

By using this chiropractor over a considerable period of time, these chiropractor adjustments can help in the alignments of the spine and brings a noticeable change in your posture. This is distinctly helpful when it comes to aligning the curve on your neck. As soon as you get into your working in an office phase, you have to spend hours after hours in front of a computer. Due to this from a very young age, people are seen to be having neck issues. If you continue a regular and dutifully maintained use of the chiropractor, you can improve your body posture in no time.

3. Moods are taken care of automatically

When with time your body gets adjusted with the working procedure of the chiropractor, your entire body gets balanced. The entire chemistry of the body is brought back on track. A lot of people who have not had the best of luck in chemical balance gain a lot from the chiropractic care. Depression which is a very serious mental condition also sees an immense improvement in the moods of the sufferer. So you see how a chiropractor is creating wonders in your mood related cases as well which are in a way related to the functioning of your entire body.

Thus we provide you with a gist of all that you can mainly expect from the usage of a chiropractor. It is efficient and it is useful and it is interlinked with many a thing’s improvement.

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Calamine Lotion Benefits

Calamine lotion has been around for a long time and was always used in the medical environment. Obviously, it isn’t as strong as most antiseptic chemicals but it is a lotion that prevents itching.

Calamine lotion can be used for various treatments which include damaged and itchy skin. When skin gets damaged it will get itchy because the cells are breaking and tearing apart. It may sound painful but the itch is what really gets to you. And who can resist scratching an itch?

Coming into contact with poisonous plants is common when camping or spending the day in a garden. These are plants that use poison as a self defence mechanism to save themselves from being cut or eaten. It’s also important to know your allergies as some people may have allergic reactions to certain plants. The calamine lotion can help to soothe the burning feeling and prevents any breakouts at the same time. This will help heal the rash and infection quicker in a painless way.

Baby skin is very sensitive to most surfaces including their nappies. The calamine lotion can help to heal the nappy rash or anything of the sort without burning your child’s skin. Keeping the rash as soothed as possible will make your child more comfortable.

Insect bites are common in any area of the world. These bites could also be slightly poisonous (in certain cases) which causes itching and inflation on the skin. Applying calamine lotion to the bite will soothe the wound and assist with the process of ridding the body of the harmless poison. Please remember that certain insects can also be dangerously poisonous and you should be aware of which insects and spiders can harm you greatly. Most insects that have many bright colours are often associated with high toxic levels.

Calamine lotion also assists with stretch marks and broken skin that occurs during pregnancy. There is nothing worse than having discomfort during pregnancy especially if it could be treated or prevented. Adding calamine lotion to your broken and itchy skin relieves the surface of the discomfort.

You can also apply it to other skin problems such as acne, dryness, eczema, psoriasis and as a normal moisturiser to improve complexion and quality of skin.

Calamine lotion can be found in most stores or in bulk quantities at cash and carry wholesale stores. If skin problems continue after the use of any treatments, there is a chance that your body is unable to cure itself of the infection. In such cases you would need to consult a dermatologist to find out the cause of the problem.

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Staying Safe While Behind The Wheel

There is nothing quite like being able to hit the road and experience a level of freedom in your own vehicle. While your car can offer you a chance to escape from the monotonous routine of your daily life, it is also important to keep basic maintenance in the forefront of your mind. When something goes wrong with your ride, it can lead to some serious financial problems and general frustration. In fact, you might discover that some aspects of maintenance are less obvious than others. This is especially true of areas like windshield glare.

When you are driving on a particularly sunny day, you might not be able to see the road in front of you. The sun can be harsh and unforgiving, and this can have a huge impact on your ability to see clearly while you’re driving. Instead of chalking this up to the way that it is, you might want to take action and discover the right solutions with Crystal Fusion Technologies. Explore the different ways to improve your driving experience and learn how to stay safe while you’re behind the wheel.

A Frustrating Glare

Sunlight on the windshield can be a serious threat. A sunny day is perfect for going to the beach, having a lazy picnic in the park, or simply soaking up some rays. Unfortunately, the sun is also incredibly bright at certain times during the year. When light bounces off or gets filtered through the glass on your windshield, it creates an obstruction that cannot be easily remedied. While you might try and put on some shades, you’ll discover that this solution only gets you so far. A real remedy is in order for a lasting fix.

Companies like Crystal Fusion Technologies have put a lot of time and energy into crafting solutions that aim to improve this situation. Cutting the glare on your windshield is not an easy task and you need to make sure that you are taking the right steps to see improved results. With the assistance of the best products on the market, you can use cutting edge technology to divert the rays of the sun in a way that does not upset your driving in the slightest. Research your options to discover the perfect fit.

Driving On

Staying safe while on the road is important for many reasons. People tend to go through routine maintenance for their vehicles to ensure that no unforeseen issues arise while behind the wheel. This usually takes care of areas like oil changes, tire rotations, and other important areas. Still, maintenance neglects issues that are inherent by design. Windshield glare cannot be fixed with regular maintenance. You need to go above and beyond to protect yourself when you’re on the road so be sure to look over your options.

There are many ways to protect yourself when you’re out driving in your car. When you are paying attention to all angles of your experience, it can be a lot easier for you to spot a problem in advance. Learn about how products by Crystal Fusion Technologies might be able to improve your experience by using windshield protective coating regards to windshield glare. Explore your options and you can find the best solution for your troubles.

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Various Health Benefits of Meditation

The ancient practice of meditation is gaining popularity again in modern times. As this practice goes main stream, more and more people are enjoying its benefits. Derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Dhyana’ meditation means attention and contemplation. It is a practice to help focusing the attention away from everything to achieve a relaxed state of peace and balance. This practice is designed to promote relaxation, develop love, patience and compassion and build internal energy to overcome stressful situations.

One of the reasons for growing popularity of meditation is the scientific research proving its amazing range of benefits and healing properties. It helps a person increase his focus, eliminate negative thoughts and anxiety. Here are some of the popular health benefits of meditation:

- Reduces Stress – Stress is the most common problem of people in present times. Meditation induces a state of relaxation which is helpful in reducing stress and anxiety levels. It restores the emotional balance which will help in enhancing self-esteem, increase awareness and optimism.

- Deals with Chronic Pain – Meditation helps in reducing pain of patients suffering from chronic pain.

- Improves Sleep – It helps in improving sleep quality and cures the symptoms of amnesia.

- Improves Immunity – When the body is relaxed and stress free, the immune system is able to prepare itself to fight against various diseases.

- Provides relief from Blood Pressure and Heart Ailments – Simple daily practice of meditation can help in lowering blood pressure which will reduce the risk of hypertension. Over the time, the heart rate can also be lowered, improving the cardiovascular system. Research has proved that it has helped in managing heart diseases in many patients.

- Improves Concentration – It helps in increasing the strength and focus of your attention. It can help you think better and generate more new ideas.

- Generates Compassion – It can help to increase positive feelings and actions towards others. By practicing meditation, people learn to extend kindness and develop forgiveness.

- Helps in Fighting Addictions – The discipline developed through meditation helps in increasing self control, awareness and breaking dependencies. Research has shown that it helps people in redirecting attention, increase willpower and control impulses. It helps in developing discipline to avoid triggers for unwanted things and fight and recover from addiction.

The importance of meditation can be felt never like before in present times. With routines getting busier and more and more stressful, meditation is a good driving force that can help people cope up with the intricacies of modern lifestyle.

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Remove Unwanted Facial And Body Hair Using Laser Treatment

Removing unwanted hair is time-consuming and repetitive no matter what your preferred hair removal technique is, and whether you shave, pluck, wax, thread or use depilatory creams, the hair will always grow back. You’ll find the skin on your face is sensitive, and constantly using harsh hair removal treatments can cause a great deal of skin irritation.

All women have hair on the face, usually it’s fair and fine and is difficult to see, but those with darker hair are not so lucky. You will find that most of your female friends have the same issues when it comes to unwanted facial hair. The hair on the upper lip, chin, cheeks and sideburns can all be very embarrassing and cause you a great deal of insecurity. It seems that every time you think you’ve disposed of unwanted hair, you’ll find more of it sprouting up somewhere else, and even after you get rid of the hairs, they just grow back.

You can cover up your excess hair in areas that aren’t constantly exposed, but the hair on your face is always on display, and it can seem as though everyone is always looking at the hairs on your upper lip, chin or sideburns. A good way to get rid of unwanted hair is with laser hair removal.

Benefits of laser hair removal:

It permanently reduces hair safely
It’s a fast treatment time
The results will boost your self-confidence
Prevents razor bumps and irritation
Laser treatment causes only minimal discomfort
Laser energy gets absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle, and this laser energy is then converted to heat, causing thermal damage to the follicle without harming the surrounding skin. This results in hair growth being stopped in the damaged follicle.
Generally for white skin you’ll need around 6 treatments, spaced 4-6 weeks apart, and this usually results in 80% of hair removal. Darker or black skin may need around 8 treatments, resulting again in 80% of hair removed.

Most clients experience minimal discomfort; some may experience a minor stinging or pinching sensation on the skin as we deliver the laser pulses, but we can offer topical anaesthetic cream to make treatments more comfortable.

Although we can perform laser hair removal treatment on white or black skin, lasers only work on hair which has pigment, because it absorbs the laser light and allows the heat to build up and diffuse throughout the follicle to destroy it. Therefore it’s not possible to treat white, grey, and blond hair by laser.

If you need help choosing a cosmetic procedure, we provide an extensive range of cosmetic procedures for the face and body: Botox, Vaser Lipo, Lip Augmentation, Dermal Fillers and many more treatments, to help create a younger, slimmer, more youthful looking you!

The Selston Cosmetic Clinic is located in Selston, Nottingham, where we offer a bespoke service with a personalised touch and deliver high client satisfaction. We have been involved in the cosmetic industry for over 10 years

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