Canadian Health Care System Analysis

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My impression of our health care system overall is that we, as Canadians, are extremely lucky to live in a country where all Canadian citizens have access to free health care services. The five principles of the Canadian Health Care Act(CHA) - Administration, Comprehensiveness, Universality, Portability and Accessibility creates accountability for our provincial/territorial governments and are the key buikding blocks of our health care system (MRAD, 2014). I feel that the principles of comprehensiveness and universality are part of our systems greatest strengths. The fact that Canada has built a system on the foundation that every Canadian has the right to health care and that all Canadians have the right to equal levels of primary and acute…show more content…
Although Medicare provides Canadians with access to free physician and hospital services that are deemed medically necessary, these benefits could be considered basic. Many services such as optometry, dentistry, prescription drugs, chiropractics, out of hospital physiotherapy, ambulance services and community or long-term care to name a few, are not deemed medically necessary under the CHA umbrella (Canada Health Act, 2011). Some of these services may be partly or completely covered under Provincial/Territorial insurance plans, however coverage of these services varies from province to province, so this is where some may say the concepts of a universal and equitable system begin to dissolve (Canada Health Act, 2011). Many Canadians depend upon supplementary private health insurance provided through their employers to cover additional services not covered by Medicare or their public provincial insurance plan, however not all Canadians are so lucky. Those without supplemental health coverage end up paying for these expenses out-of-pocket or may even go without these services altogether if they cannot afford…show more content…
According to Statistics Canada, in 2013 approximately 4.6 million Canadians reported that they did not have a regular family doctor. I know many people who have moved to a new city and are unable to find a local GP to take them on as patients, even after years of trying. Most of these people, without access to a family physician, resort to using walk-in clinics, which can have huge wait times and are often only open during regular business hours. Many opt to visit their local Emergency Department for medical conditions that are not life threatening and could be addressed by a family physician. This can create congested emergency rooms, overflowing with patients and taking up valuable resources and time. In a report from the American organization The Common Wealth Fund, 65% of Canadians find it difficult to find health care outside of regular business hours (Laupacis & Born, 2012). In a recent vacation to Calgary, I learned that they have centres called Urgent Care centres in Alberta. These centres offer extended hours of access, for non-life threatening injuries or illness that require same day treatment. They have an on-site laboratory and x-ray department and they receive patients who arrive on their own or by ambulance. They treat common conditions such as cuts, sprains, broken, bones, pain and

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