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The Canadian Health Care System Explained

Canada is known for having one of the best healthcare systems in the world.

By Dr. Christopher ZedPublished 2 years ago 3 min read

Before you start planning to go to Canada, it’s essential that you thoroughly understand the country’s healthcare system. This is especially important if you’re planning on establishing a permanent home in the country.


Medicare is Canada’s public healthcare system, which is funded by taxes. It provides coverage for all medical procedures deemed medically necessary. However, it does not provide dental, vision, or prescription drugs.

In Canada, various healthcare systems are managed by different provinces and territories. These programs are only available to specific groups, such as refugees and permanent residents.


The Canada Health Act was created in 1984 to guide the country’s healthcare system. It features five founding principles:

  • Public administration: On a nonprofit basis.
  • Comprehensiveness: Health plans must cover all medically necessary services.
  • Universality: Canadians must have access to public healthcare
  • Portability: Residents are covered within Canada and partially outside of the country.
  • Accessibility: access to care must be free of financial barriers.

Signing Up

If you’re a permanent resident or refugee in Canada, you can start the process of signing up for Medicare by visiting the website of your province or territory. However, even if you’re eligible for this program, it does not cover all medical services. To ensure you have the best coverage, you should sign up for private insurance.

Healthcare for Foreigners

Although they can still receive medical help in an emergency, international students and expatriates won’t be able to access Canada’s public healthcare system until they have a global health insurance policy. This means that they may have to pay for the care they need. Some people, such as those with a work permit and an employer, may eventually be able to access Medicare.

Even if you can join Canada’s public healthcare system, it’s still essential to ensure you have the best coverage. You’ll need international health insurance if you plan to travel outside the country.

Canadian Healthcare Challenges

Despite the various advantages of Canada’s healthcare system, it’s still not perfect. There are long wait times for specific procedures, and there are restrictions on the availability of prescription drugs. Also, hundreds of thousands of people are not able to access insurance.

Even with its flaws in the Canadian healthcare system, most people are satisfied with its quality of service. This country’s healthcare system is accessible to the majority of its population.

About Dr. Christopher Zed

A respected professional with over 25 years of experience in dental health care, Dr. Christopher Zed is a Dental Surgeon and the owner of Bayview Lonsdale Dental in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Dr. Zed’s philosophy on dental care is focused on patient-centered treatment. This means that each patient has a say in their treatment plan. By utilizing a collaborative approach, Dr. Zed is able to provide information to patients that allows them to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. When presented with a difficult decision, Dr. Zed provides his expert opinion, but always takes into account what the patient’s situation is.

Throughout his career, Dr. Zed has always stood confidently in the face of adversity. His personal mission is to provide excellent care to his patients, regardless of the difficulties that stand in his way. In fact, according to Dr. Christopher Zed, “it only energizes me to persevere and never play the victim.” Dr. Zed understands that growth comes from adversity, and he embraces the changes in his life that have happened due to overcoming obstacles. This sentiment has allowed him to pursue a rich career in dentistry, as his can-do spirit pushes him to succeed.

When Dr. Christopher Zed is not practicing dentistry, he enjoys spending time with his family and enjoying a multitude of hobbies. Whether he is relaxing with his 4 children, playing backgammon and cribbage, or connecting with the great outdoors, Dr. Zed appreciates the downtime he has to rejuvenate after a long day.


About the Creator

Dr. Christopher Zed

A respected professional with over 25 years of experience in dental health care, Dr. Christopher Zed is a Dental Surgeon and the owner of Bayview Lonsdale Dental in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

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