If you’re a new citizen in Canada, you’re probably curious about how their healthcare system works.
In other countries, such as the United States, health care is very confusing. It’s offered by private companies, given by your job, and provided by the government in some cases.
As for Canada, it’s a mix of the above. Here’s some information to help you understand health care in Canada and what to expect.
Is Health Care Really Free in Canada?
The organization of the healthcare system in Canada is such that all citizens have access to public health insurance. With it, you don’t have to pay for most health-care services, such as checkups and hospital visits.
In fact, each province and territory offers free emergency medical services for everyone. You don’t even need a medical card.
Despite taxes covering general healthcare services, the total health expenditure in Canada reached $7,068 per person in 2019. This is because not all healthcare expenses are covered by the government.
For prescription coverage, dental care, physiotherapy, and more, citizens must pay for private insurance. Often, your employer will provide extra coverage from the company or organization.
The aims of health care reform in Canada are to improve wait times, provide more affordable medication, and adapt to new health care priorities.
Who Started Health Care in Canada
Canadian Medicare’s roots go back to 1947 when the Saskatchewan Government introduced the first provincial hospital insurance program in Canada. Their leader was Tommy Douglas.
Nationwide Medicare was officially established through federal legislation in 1957 by Paul Martin Sr. and has slowly developed into what it is today.
While doctors staged strikes in the 60s, the program quickly became popular among the people. Currently, it is guided by the provisions of the Canada Health Act of 1984.
Under this law, Canada’s 13 provinces and territories control their own health care. While it’s funded by taxes, the governments ultimately decide how to design and deliver their health care system.
Health Care Plans in Canada
Even though Canadian citizens carry a public health care card at all times, each province and territory offers different services.
For example, Albertans have coverage for necessary doctors’ services, some dental services, psychiatrist visits, nursing services, and more.
In Ontario, however, dental services are not covered. The exception is in the case of emergency dental surgery done in a hospital.
As for Nova Scotia, psychiatrist visits are not included in their health care plan.
Despite all of this, buying prescription medication from Canada is commonly seen as an option for saving money.
This is because of Canada’s Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB). They check prices against other countries and negotiate for more affordable prices.
Health Care for All
With everything said, health care in Canada is generally very supportive for its citizens.
However, what it covers depends on where you end up settling down. Do the minimum research into your specific province or territory and you shouldn’t have any problems.
For more tips and information, check out some of our other articles on politics, world news, and more.
Beren Saat is a content writer and digital strategist at Viralmich.
Her well-organized and analytical nature keeps projects running smoothly and makes her a vital component of our SEO team.