Healthcare Services In Canada

Healthcare Services In Canada
The healthcare system in Canada is publically funded through the income taxes of residents, so that nearly all services are free to the patient. While the government ensures the quality of healthcare via federal standards, it does not get involved in the actual medical process. That is left mainly to private institutions.

Each citizen is issued a health card by the government that entitles them to comprehensive healthcare coverage. There is no need for different health plans or other competitive forms of health coverage because everyone in the country receives coverage for all essential basic care including maternity.

About 27 per cent of Canadian health care is paid for by the private sector. This is mainly for services and products not covered by Medicare, the main government subsidy for the poor or elderly. Around 75 per cent of Canadians have some kind of supplementary healthcare, however, often provided by their employer.

Medicare is the national health insurance program. Its goal is to provide every Canadian with reasonable access to medical care whenever it is needed on a prepaid basis that stems from tax payments. The responsibilities for healthcare are shared between the federal and provincial governments, with 13 interconnected insurance plans that cover the entire country.

All practicing doctors in Canada are trained and certified at the highest levels, and managed under the Canadian Medical Association. Doctors rarely earn a salary, instead getting paid for individual services and consultations. The overall result is something in between the messy American system and Britain's laudable NHS.

One of the criticisms of Canada's national healthcare service is that it often takes a long time to receive specialised medical care. It can often take up to four weeks to get an appointment with a specialised doctor or have a surgery performed. MRI and CAT scans usually take two weeks to arrange, though, of course, any life-threatening medical condition is always dealt with immediately.

But this wait period is really the only issue Canadians see as a problem with their healthcare system. And considering the cost savings, it is often well worth the wait considering what Americans have to go through in dealing with healthcare in their country.

In fact, many see the inevitable wait period as a blessing in disguise because it prompts people to reassess the necessity of their medical condition instead of rushing into a procedure that may not be needed in the end. Canada's health system is usually ranked 30th in the world each year (the US is ranked 37th).