Doctors Prescribe Museum Visits To Patients With Free Vouchers For First Time

Canadian doctors are being encouraged to prescribe museum visits to their patients as a means of supplemental treatment that has no side effects.

Back in November of last year, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) teamed up with the Médecins Francophones du Canada (MFdC) to come up with a plan that encourages physicians to write out art therapy prescriptions for their patients. Since museum visits can cost up to $31 for adults, they have made it so that a doctor’s prescription can allow two adults and two children to enjoy the museum together for free.

Doctors who agree to take part in this are given 50 free admission slips to hand out at their discretion. In the months since the program was launched, the museum has filled over 185 prescriptions in Montreal. It has been hailed as the “the first of its kind in the world,” and medical experts say it can be used to treat conditions like anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiac arrhythmia.

“I am convinced that in the 21st century … the cultural experience of art will contribute to health and well-being as much as the practice of sports,” said Nathalie Bondil, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the MMFA. “For skeptics, remember that a hundred years ago, it was said that sports distorted the body and threatened the fertility of women! Today, doctors prescribe exercise!”

This program is such a great way to treat ailments without giving patients medication. We hope more cities around the world will start using this program as well!

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