Canada: health system review
AbstractCanada is a high-income country with a population of 33 million people. Its economic performance has been solid despite the recession that began in 2008. Life expectancy in Canada continues to rise and is high compared with most OECD countries; however, infant and maternal mortality rates tend to be worse than in countries such as Australia, France and Sweden. About 70% of total health expenditure comes from the general tax revenues of the federal, provincial and territorial governments. Most public revenues for health are used to provide universal medicare (medically necessary hospital and physician services that are free at the point of service for residents) and to subsidise the costs of outpatient prescription drugs and long-term care. Health care costs continue to grow at a faster rate than the economy and government revenue, largely driven by spending on prescription drugs. In the last five years, however, growth rates in pharmaceutical spending have been matched by hospital spending and overtaken by physician spending, mainly due to increased provider remuneration. The governance, organization and delivery of health services is highly decentralized, with the provinces and territories responsible for administering medicare and planning health services. In the last ten years there have been no major pan-Canadian health reform initiatives but individual provinces and territories have focused on reorganizing or fine tuning their regional health systems and improving the quality, timeliness and patient experience of primary, acute and chronic care. The medicare system has been effective in providing Canadians with financial protection against hospital and physician costs. However, the narrow scope of services covered under medicare has produced important gaps in coverage and equitable access may be a challenge in these areas.
Marchildon, G & European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. (2013). Canada: health system review. World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/330307
Health Systems in Transition;vol. 15, n. 1
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Health care systems in transition : Canada / written by Gregory P. Marchildon ; and edited by Sarah Allin and Elias Mossialos Marchildon, Gregory P; Mossialos, Elias; Allin, Sara; World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe; European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (Copenhagen : WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2005)
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