Does Canada Have Free Health Care?

People moving to Canada for work often are surprised to discover how well its healthcare system operates, even given that funding comes through taxes rather than being managed at a national level like it would be in the US.

Canadians spend less per capita on healthcare than Americans do, yet still rank highly on international surveys of effective coverage. One such survey published by Lancet in 2019 gave Canada an impressive score of 90 out of 100 – much higher than its US counterpart!

Key to understanding Canadian healthcare system is understanding its structure: 10 provinces and three territories manage their own healthcare systems, meaning standards can differ significantly across regions as well as costs for services offered to residents. Federal funds are distributed to each region with the intention of them disbursing it in accordance with their regional needs while providing their citizens access to essential health services.

As long as they live within their province or territory, residents will generally benefit from free hospital and physician visits, prescription drugs and dental care – this system is known as Medicare in Canada; there are also provincial programs dedicated to children, seniors and those living with chronic illness – supplemented with private insurance policies from employers or independent providers.

Most Canadians have access to a family doctor who serves as their go-to resource for health related matters, making appointments with other healthcare professionals and referring on when needed for specialist care. Additionally, this doctor can check eligibility for various healthcare plans available.

Canadians frequently consult other healthcare specialists besides family doctors, such as dentists, opticians or psychiatrists. Most often referred by their family doctor and healthcare providers in Canada often work together closely.

As is true in most countries worldwide, accessing healthcare requires visiting a physician directly. Canadians will find healthcare providers using websites like Lumino Health which offer details about clinic hours, languages spoken at services provided and user ratings of each service provided. Search providers based on location to quickly and easily identify the ideal option for yourself and your family. However, if you want extra peace of mind or don’t already have employment-based health cover, taking out private medical insurance in Canada might be worth your while. With Cigna you can create a tailored plan tailored specifically to your needs and budget from their network of over 1.65 million hospitals and doctors globally.