Ask Dr. Marla: Circumcision Costs

By Dr. Marla Shapiro on April 18, 2011

Question:

I have a newborn son and I want to have him circumcised. It is an important part of our religion (Muslim). We live in Montreal. Is the procedure covered by medicare? If not, roughly how much does it cost? I called a couple of medical centres and they are asking between $400 and $800. I am working on minimum wage and not able to pay that amount.

Answer:

As an important part of your religion, you have decided to circumcise your son and that certainly is your right. The procedure is covered when it is medically indicated. Otherwise it is considered an elective procedure. It can be performed by a qualified pediatrician or urologist. It can be done in hospital or a clinic. It also can be done by a trained non-physician for ritualistic circumcisions.

The cost of the procedure varies based on who does it and where it is performed (typically more expensive in a hospital than a clinic). You are right that the typical cost is approximately $400 or more. Speak with your family doctor or pediatrician about who is qualified in your area and whether there might be a sliding scale for payment based on your personal circumstances.

Circumcision rates decreasing:

Number of infants circumcised in Canadian hospitals in 1995-1996: 35,731
Number of infants circumcised in Canadian hospitals in 2008-2009: 13,157

– Canadian Institute for Health Information

Published in May, 2011.


By Dr. Marla Shapiro| April 18, 2011

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