Healthcare in Canada: 8 Facts About Canadian Healthcare

healthcare in Canada

Canada’s Healthcare System is one that guarantees equity, rather than equality. It makes sure that medically necessary services are given to the patients without them facing financial barriers.

Healthcare in Canada prioritizes the needs of its patients instead of being concerned about their individual ability to pay for the services.

About Healthcare in Canada

The Evolution of Canada’s Healthcare System started after World War II. Earlier, it was funded through private sources and was also delivered through private sources until 1947. 1947 was the year when the government of Saskatchewan brought a huge change in the healthcare system of Canada.

It changed its shape and the Canadian health care system became publicly funded. From then it was known as Medicare. Ever since, Medicare evolved although it faced a number of challenges.

Now, we know you must be feeling curious to know how it evolved and what changes it faced. Let us cure your curiosity through these 8 amazing facts about Healthcare in Canada.

1. Canada Health Act

First, to know the basics of Healthcare in Canada, let us understand what is Canada Health Act.

It is this Act that sets the criteria for publicly funded insurance. It talks about the goals of healthcare in Canada. The Provinces and territories must fulfil the criteria that are set by the Canada Health Act in order to receive Canada Health Transfer also known as CHT by the Federal government.

The objective on which the Canada Health Act works is different. It ensures that the eligible residents of Canada can accomplish the medically necessary and insured services. They can access this on a prepaid basis without residents having to pay the direct charges when they are receiving the services.

2. The Role of the Federal Government in the Canadian Healthcare System

The Primary Role of the Federal Government includes providing financial support to the Provinces and Territories on the basis of the Canada Health Act. Other than that the Federal government is also responsible for delivering and funding the supplementary services.

These services are supplied to the group such as retired army soldiers, Inuit, people from First Nations and asylum seeking refugees etc.

The Federal Government also helps financially struggling provinces and territories through Territorial payments and Equalization payments. It also provides delivery of services to remote places where provincial and territorial services are unable to reach.

The responsibilities of the Federal government do not end here but it also has the responsibility to prevent and monitor disease surveillance.

3. Importance of Territorial and Provincial Government in the Canadian Healthcare System

The Biggest Part of Medical services provided in Canada is provided by Territories and Provinces after they get the Cash Transfer from the Federal government.  Provinces and Territories need to make sure that their insurance covers the cost of all the medically necessary services on a prepaid basis.

Medically necessary services are not immediately defined in Canada Health Act. It’s in the hands of provinces and territories to determine what services are medically necessary for them.

For this, they can consult with the physicians. If a service is determined to be medically necessary. Then the provincial and territorial governments need to have it fully covered in their insurance plans.

Provincial and territorial governments make negotiations with physicians to set up a fee schedule. Physicians charge according to these fee schedules and the cost is covered by the health insurance.

4. Precautions Against Extra Billing 

Let us tell you about extra billing and then we move to more amazing facts about health systems in Canada.

Extra Billing is a practice in which the physicians bill the patient in an amount which is greater than the amount provided and set by medical insurance for that particular service. This kind of practice is not valid according to the Canada Health Act and is also not allowed by the Medicare Protection Act.

Even a medical professional who is not enrolled in a Medicare Services Plan and yet provides should only change according to the cost set. These costs are set by the Medical Services Plan as directed by Medicare Protection Act.

5. Expenditures on Health

Don’t you want to know how Canada spends on its Healthcare?

There are three ways in which healthcare in Canada is financed. The first is the services that are publicly funded. Or whose cost is entirely covered by Health insurance provided by the government such as medically necessary services and diagnostic services.

Photo by Christine Sandu on Unsplash

The second way in which the cost of healthcare is covered is through the mix of both private and public insurance. Dental services, Drug prescription, and Care at Home are a few examples.

In the third way, the health care services are entirely covered by private insurances such as cosmetic surgery and physiotherapy etc.

Only 70.9% of expenditure is incurred by the government on Healthcare through taxation. And the rest 30% is covered by either private insurance or comes through the pockets of patients.

6. Focus on e-health

In the era of development and innovation, Canada is also looking forward to using the latest technology which can help it reach its healthcare goals.

Electronic health records and telehealth is being used in Canada to keep a record of patients. Such technology makes Medicare more efficient in providing its services.

They keep track of their patient using digital technologies that are very useful in today’s world. In some cases, they also use different machines at home to keep an eye on the growth and progress of their patients.

7. The Concept of Direct Federal Delivery

Are you familiar with the concept of Direct Federal Delivery? If you are not, read this fact to know.

Not only Canada aims to provide medical services on a universal basis, keeping in mind that needs should come first rather than a financial barrier. But also Canada aims at providing all the medically necessary services in the unreachable arenas as well.

Thus, the concept of Direct Federal Delivery comes wherein the services are delivered by the Federal Government.

8. Better Medical Services than the United States

Canada is better than America. How? Let me tell you this fact.

Even though the United States is a global power and one of the most advanced countries in the world. Still, if we talk about medical health services then Canada easily outshines the United States.

According to the Commonwealth Fund report in which the 11 richest countries of the world were compared. Only 25% of Canadians have a body mass over 30 while on the other hand in the United States, 40% of its population has a body mass above 30.

The suicide rate in Canada is 11.8 percent while in the United States, it is 13.9 percent per 100,000 individuals.


These are some of the facts about the healthcare system in Canada. Do let us know your valuable opinions in the comments down below.

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