Canada Health System

Canada's health system is a publicly funded, universal single-payer system. It provides universal coverage for medically necessary health care services provided on the basis of need, rather than the ability to pay and doctors are prohibited from charging user fees. However, certain services including pharmaceuticals, optometry and dentistry are paid out of pocket or funded through private insurance.

Canada Health Act
The Canada Health Act was passed in 1984. This legislation replaced the federal hospital and medical insurance acts, and consolidated their principles by establishing criteria on portability, accessibility, universality, comprehensiveness, and public administration.

Federal Government

Ensures national principles for the system under the Canada Health Act.
Provide financial support to the provinces.
Deliver services to First Nations people; serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces; eligible veterans; inmates in federal penitentiaries; and some groups of refugee claimants.

Provincial Government

Ensures national principles for the system under the Canada Health Act; provide financial support to the provinces; deliver services to First Nations people; serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces; eligible veterans; inmates in federal penitentiaries; and some groups of refugee claimants.

The 5 Principles

The Canada Health Act is guided by 5 Principles

  • Public Administration
  • Comprehensiveness
  • Universality
  • Accessibility
  • Portability