|The 1984 Canada Health Act||Return to Health Care Theme page|
1. Core Knowledge:
The five principles of the Canada Health Act form the cornerstone of the Canadian health care system:
- Universality: all eligible residents are entitled to public health insurance coverage on uniform terms and conditions;
- Portability: coverage for insured services must be maintained when an insured person moves or travels within Canada or travels outside the country;
- Public administration: the health insurance plan of a province or territory must be administered on a non-profit basis by a public authority;
- Accessibility: reasonable access by insured persons to medically necessary hospital and physician services must not be impeded by financial or other barriers, and
- Comprehensiveness: all medically necessary services provided by hospitals and doctors must be insured.
(Mnemonic = UPPAC)
2. Nice to Know:
- The legislation was passed by parliament in 1984 under the guidance of Monique Bégin, then Minister of Health in Pierre Trudeau's Liberal government. (Mme Bégin later became Dean of Health Sciences at U of Ottawa).
- The Act aims to ensure that all residents of Canada have access to necessary hospital and physician services on a prepaid basis.
- The act specifies criteria that the provinces and territories must satisfy in order to qualify for federal transfer payments.
- The Canada Health Act also contains provisions that ban extra-billing and user charges:
- no extra-billing by medical practitioners or dentists for insured health services under the terms of the health care insurance plan of the province or territory;
- no user charges for insured health services by hospitals or other providers under the terms of the health care insurance plan of the province or territory.
3. Additional Information:
Brief history of the development of :
Links: The Canada Health Act Annual ReportUpdated August 7, 2014