Category: Canadian Healthcare

Canadian Healthcare – The Healthcare Plan that Makes Provisions to All

Canadian Healthcare – The Healthcare Plan that Makes Provisions to All

Canadian Healthcare

The Canadian healthcare system is a lot like the healthcare system in the United States except that it is not a single national plan. The healthcare system in Canada is divided into 13 provincial and territorial health care insurance plans, distributed according to the number of federal territories within Canada. This publicly funded healthcare system in Canada is also referred to as Medicare just like in the US. The Canadian citizens who are under their public healthcare insurance system basically have access to all hospital and physician services without paying any out-of-pocket expenses. But even though the members of the Canadian public healthcare insurance system virtually have access to all the necessary hospital and physician services, some variables are left out. These include prescription drugs, ambulance services, home care, vision care, mental care, and dental care, needs where the expenses must be paid for by the customers themselves.

Just like any public healthcare insurance, the Canadian healthcare system only covers the essential needs. If some members of Canadian Medicare still want those needs that were mentioned earlier to be covered by insurance, they are free to get private health insurance plans. With the exception of the province of Quebec, all the other Canadian territories do not provide coverage for prescription drugs. But concerning the scope of coverage that is provided by the Canadian healthcare, members can be assured that it is comprehensive as all basic care is covered including maternity needs. The authority that issues the health ID card to the members is the Provincial Ministry of Health and it is only obtained through individually enrolling in the program.

What’s good about the Canadian healthcare system is that the coverage that it provides is not affected if the individual member loses or changes jobs. The basic coverages that the members are entitled to are not denied from them even if they have unpaid premiums. There’s also no lifetime limits or benefit exclusions for members with pre-existing conditions. Under the government of the past Canadian prime minister Lester Pearson, the Canadian healthcare was expanded to provide near-universal coverage to all Canadian members “according to their need” and “irrespective of their ability to pay”.

Lester Pearson, Canadian Prime Minister (1963-1968)

The Canada Health Act deems that all essential hospital and physician needs will be covered by the publicly funded system but it is up to the provincial health care systems to determine what is considered essential. The where’s, how’s and who will be providing the services is also under the provincial healthcare system’s control and this has resulted in a great variance in what needs are covered across the country.

As mentioned earlier, the Canadian healthcare system generally doesn’t provide coverage for prescription medications except for the province of Quebec.

Province of Quebec

The only group of people whose prescription drug needs are covered by the Canadian healthcare system in all territories is the elderly people and the indigents. In Quebec, its residents pay an annual premium of $0 to more than $600 for their province’s public prescription drug plan. The insurance programs that pay for the prescription drug needs of residents from other provinces are mostly employment-based private insurance companies and citizens who don’t have them pay out-of-pocket for their drugs.

Canadian Healthcare System Problems

The most prominent problem that many people voice out against the Canadian healthcare system is the long wait times. For urgent and emergency health problems like strokes or heart attacks, almost all Canadians have timely access to world-class care. But for a long list of less urgent health problems, people have to typically wait for long periods of time before their scheduled treatments. The wait time that the Canadians have to endure even last for as long as many months and even years for some people.

Patients who visit specialists for diabetes treatment, knee replacements or cataract surgeries for example, often wait for longer periods of time than recommended. The result is catastrophic for the Canadian citizens because the lack of urgency in treating the health conditions that they consider as “less serious” has led to more serious complications and deterioration of health to many. So many people are stuck on the waiting list, waiting for their time to be treated because they have no other choice but to wait. Others who are capable of getting their treatments from other countries such as the US go out of Canada because time is ticking. The longer the people wait, the more irreversible the conditions of their health become and the Canadian healthcare system is just pushing the people to the edge of survival because of this.

Canadian Healthcare System Overview

Healthcare in Canada is a publicly funded system which is delivered through 13 territorial systems. The entire system is governed by the Canada Health Act of 1984 where there are five (5) standards by which the provincial health care systems must adhere to. These five standards are:

  • Public Administration
  • Comprehensiveness
  • Universality
  • Portability, and
  • Accessibility

The public administration of the healthcare program means that it should be governed on a nonprofit basis by a public authority only. Comprehensiveness of the program means that all territorial plans must cover all medically necessary services provided by hospitals and physicians. The universality part simply means that the provincial plans must cover all residents. As for portability, it means that the residents are still covered by the healthcare insurance whichever province they travel to. The limit in their coverages will only be imposed once they leave the country. For accessibility, it simply implies that members must have access to medically necessary services based on their medical need and not on their ability to pay.

Challenges Facing Canadian Healthcare System

Due to the flaws in the Canadian healthcare system such as the non-coverage for “less urgent” needs such as other important services such as dental care, long-term care, physiotherapy, home care services, out-of-hospital pharmaceuticals, and many more, many Canadians especially the ones that belong to the low-income class have nowhere else to depend on. Unless this issue in limited coverages and the long wait times are fixed, the Canadian Healthcare System will never be moving forward to excellence but will be on its way to decline.

Canadian Health and Care Mall

Canadian Health and Care Mall

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Summary

In general, the Canadian healthcare system is a reliable healthcare plan that makes provisions to all, even those who are less fortunate. It is a very structured system that is divided into 13 different divisions based on the number of Canadian territories but all is grounded on the standards provided by the Canada Health Act. Customers who are looking to buy cheap medications can check our top list of recommended providers.