Canada and the United States are alike in an exorbitant number of ways, yet a glaring difference is the distinctiveness of the health care systems between the respective nations. This essay will explore how the Canadian health care system works, as all Canadian citizens have the right to universal health care, and how Canadian health care is funded by the provinces, territories, and the federal government collectively. Perhaps the examination of the Canadian system could even be a model for the United States in the future.
Canada has a predominantly publicly financed health care system. The national health insurance program is achieved through thirteen interlocking provincial and territorial health insurance plans, linked through adherence to national principles set at the federal level. The Canada Health Act was established to set the criteria and conditions related to insured health care services and extended health care services that the provinces and territories must meet in order to receive the full federal cash contribution under the Canada Health and Social Transfer (CHST).
The aim of the Canada Health Act is to ensure that all eligible residents of Canada have reasonable access to medically necessary insured services on a prepaid basis, without direct charges at the point of service. Universal health care is made possible through taxes on both the federal and provincial levels. Together, the provinces, territories, and federal government play keys roles in the Canadian health care system.
The federal government is responsible for setting and administering national principles or standards for the health care system through the Canada Health Act. The federal government assists the provinces by fiscal transfers which enable provincial health care services. They are also responsible for delivering direct health services to specific groups including veterans, native Canadians, persons living on reserves, military personnel, inmates of federal...