Important Things You Need To Know About The Canadian Healthcare System

Governments worldwide have the responsibility of providing quality healthcare to their citizens. However, most authorities struggle to protect and provide their citizens with reliable healthcare systems. The Canadian health Act of 1984 has set standards for medically necessary hospital and physician services to act as grounds for facilitating quality and accessible health care.

Canadian healthcare structure consists of 10 provinces and three territories. Each province and territory has to comply with the five essential conditions of the Canadian Health Act to receive financial assistance from the federal government.

1. The Five Conditions of the Canadian Health Act are;

  • Public administration

Public administration, in this case, requires the regions to be publicly accountable in the way they handle their funds. The provincial and territorial governments determine the extent of the health insurance coverage. The management of the Medicare system should not intend to make a profit but as an extension of government services.

  • Accessibility

Accessibility means that Canadians and permanent residents should access the health services with ease and without paying any fees or charges to access primary healthcare.

  • Portability

Portability of healthcare means that residents of a province/territory will still be covered by their insurance while temporarily out of their region. However, if you happen to move abroad for an extended period, the provinces and territories law does not consider insurance for Canadians living abroad. Hence it’s essential to organize for healthcare coverage in your new environment.

  • Universal

Universal healthcare means the provinces and territories provide cover for the medically necessary hospital and physicians services. Universality means that Canadians do not pay premiums for healthcare insurance cover in their regions.

  • Comprehensive coverage conditions

The Canadian territories and provinces must provide medically necessary services as the Affordable Health Act stipulate preventing diseases, diagnosing diseases, treating conditions, injuries and disabilities, and maintaining good health. You can also go for the best military lawyer in case of legal matters.

Important Things You Need To Know About The Canadian Healthcare System

2. Role of Government in The Canadian Healthcare 

Canadian provinces and territories are responsible for financing, organizing, providing healthcare services and managing the healthcare workers. The regions directly fund the drugs programs, the physicians and also helps delegate services for community and hospital long term care.

The providers of healthcare services in the provinces and the territories are self-regulating and ensure their staff meet the education and training standards and quality care. The providers operate under the Provincial/Territorial Laws and operate under regional healthcare regulatory bodies.

The federal government also finances the provinces and territories. It provides several services to specific groups of people such as the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans, the eligible First Nations, groups of culturally indigenous persons, some refugees and inmates.

The federal government also funds research and some IT systems, monitors and regulates the safety and efficiency of medical services and drugs. The federal government also conducts some activities and functions on a national scale.

3. Health-Related Roles of Federal Government at National Level

The Ministry of Health, the Canada Health, regulates the safety of food and drugs at the national level. The ministry also reviews medical equipment, devices as well as the technology used in the medical field. Health Canada plays a vital role in upholding the required standards of the national healthcare coverage.

The Canadian federal government, through the Public Health Agency, controls and prevents infectious and chronic diseases. The agency is also responsible for emergency preparedness and response, as well as public health safety.

4. Responsibilities of Public Health Insurance

The public health sector accounts for about 70% of healthcare spending. The Provincial/ Territorial (P/T) insurance plan covers medically necessary services and physician’s services. Services not within the Canadian Medicare are accessible through other insurance plans or out of pocket payments. 

Provinces and territories cover all their residents as per their requirements. However, the healthcare plan does not cover illegal immigrants and visitors who overstay their legal limit. In case of emergency, these groups can receive limited services.

5. Functions of Private Health Insurance

The role of private health insurance in Canada is enormous; it covers about two-thirds of its population. Private health insurance usually covers services not covered by Canadian Medicare, such as vision care, dental care, prescription drugs for outpatients, and rehabilitation services. A vast amount of private healthcare premiums, about 90%, is paid by employers or other group contracts.

6. Provincial/Territories Healthcare Reliefs

Provinces and territories provide medical relief to individuals with high out of pocket medical expenses. The Provinces also pay for accommodation and food for individuals in long term healthcare facilities.

Most provinces and territories have rural practice initiatives to ensure that their doctors are well remunerated.

7. Mental Healthcare

Canadian Medicare covers mental healthcare. Persons who need mental healthcare receive services from specialized psychiatrist hospitals or general hospitals with mental healthcare beds. Provincial governments also provide addiction management services to the communities and assist families and caregivers of affected persons. 


Efficient healthcare is vital in ensuring high productivity and happiness in life. The Canadian Healthcare System covers 100% of its citizens and permanent residents. The government and the private sector co-shares to ensure Canadian citizens can access quality health care with ease. The provinces and territories have provided leadership in healthcare by providing healthcare as per the standards and even providing relief to the citizens burdened with out of pocket medical bills.

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