System at a Glance

Federal

Healthcare Funding

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
  • Inuit
  • 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.  

For more on our health systems go to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). There you will find “in brief” and “in depth” information for all of Canada.

Provincial/Territorial

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

What is the Minister of Health for Canada responsible for?

Our current minister is Ginette Petitpas Taylor. Follow her on Twitter @GPTaylorMRD

Check out this easy description of her portfolio.

Canada’s Healthcare System Explained — to Americans!

Follow the Money

Canada Health Act, 1985

This Act covers the funding contributions by the federal government to the Provinces and Territories and what conditions they have around the funding.

For an easy description of the funding arrangement, read this government page.

Big Changes in Saskatchewan
Jan 4, 2017

Read how Saskatchewan is reducing the 12 health authorities to a single body.