Healthcare Systems (Part 3) : The Canadian Experience



Fauzi . A. Sagher

Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, El-Fateh University, Tripoli, Libya

JMJ Vo1. 8 No.4 (Winter) 2008:236-238


Canada’s health care system is characterized by single payer national health insurance (Medicare). The federal government requires that insurance cover “all medically necessary services” Medicare is a public program administered by the provinces, overseen by the federal government , and funded by the general tax revenue. Medicare accounts for 70% of health expenditure. The majority of Canadians have supplemented private insurance coverage through group plans, which extends the range of insured services, such as dental care, rehabilitation, prescription drugs and private nursing care. The private sector, private insurance and out- of- pocket payments account for 30% of health expenditure. Most physicians in Canada are in private practice and accept fees -for- service Medicare payment rates set by the government. Hospitals are mainly non-profit and operate under global institution-specific or regional budgets. All citizens qualify for health coverage regardless of past or present medical history, personal income or standard of living. Canada has the highest life expectancies (about 80 years) and the lowest infant mortality rates of industrialized countries.

Keywords: Healthcare, System, Canadian, Medicare, National Insurance.