In Canada, our health care system is called Medicare. It is publically funded through our tax dollars.
The federal government shares responsibility with the provinces and territories who deliver the actual services. The federal government also offers direct services to select groups:
- First Nations people living on reserves
- serving members of the Canadian Forces
- eligible veterans
- inmates in federal penitentiaries
- some groups of refugee claimants
The details of funding arrangement between the federal government and the provinces and territories are agreed on in a Health Accord. These usually cover a number of years and are then renegotiated. The 10-year 2004 Health Accord has expired. In 2016-17 we are again working on a new Health Accord. Health Accords determine how much money the federal governement will give the provinces and what strings are attached to this money.
We have 13 different healthcare systems as follows:
Governance - Number of Health Regions
AB - 1 Alberta Health Services
BC - 7 Health Regions
MB - 5 Health Authorities
NB - 2 Health Networks
NL - 4 Health regions
NS - 2 Health Authorities
NT - 8 HSS Authorities
NU - 1 Health Region
ON - 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs)
PE - 1 Health Authority
QC - 18 Régions sociosanitaires (Health Regions)
SK - going to 1 Health Authority from 12
YT - 1 Health Region
Patient Complaints - Last Resort
AB - Alberta Health Services
BC - BC Ombudsperson
MB - Manitoba Ombudsman
NB - Ombudsman NB
NL - Office of Citizens' Representative
NS - Office of the Ombudsman
NT - no ombudsman for foreseeable future
NU - Department of Health, Patient Relations
ON - Patient Ombudsman
PE - Health PEI, Compliments and Complaints
QC - The Health and Social Services Network Complaint Examination System
SK - Ombudsman Saskatchewan
YT - Yukon Ombudsman
Resources about Health Systems
Here you will find information about the Canadian healthcare system and how it works within each province and territory.
This is an collection of questions and answers posed to patient navigators Lisa Priest and Paul Taylor of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
This free e-book was created by Healthy Debate.
CIHR is Canada’s federal funding agency for health research. Composed of 13 Institutes, theycollaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.
They have also created and sponsored the Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) program across Canada.
Ever wondered how the Ontario health system works? You can find answers in a book recently published by the McMaster Health Forum, entitled ‘Ontario’s Health System: Key Insights for Engaged Citizens, Professionals and Policymakers.’
The goal of this book is to help make the system more understandable to the citizens who pay for it and are served by it, the professionals who work in it (and future professionals who will one day work in it), and the policymakers who govern it. Each chapter begins with key messages for each of these groups.
The full book will soon be available for purchase on Amazon.ca (and is now available for individuals outside of Canada on Amazon.com). If you are interested in particular topics (e.g., how money flows or how the primary care sector functions), McMaster University is making individual book chapters freely available on the McMaster Health Forum website.
Upstream is a movement to create a healthy society through evidence-based, people-centred ideas. Upstream seeks to reframe public discourse around addressing the social determinants of health in order to build a healthier society. It is a Canadian non-profit. www.thinkupstream.net