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Health Care Coverage for Older People Canada

The Evolution Of Health And Social Programs For Older People In Canada, Government-supported Health Insurance

Canada is a parliamentary democracy in which the division of powers between the federal and provincial governments determines how health and social support services are funded and administered. The division of powers between the federal and provincial governments for health and social services was originally prescribed in 1867 in the British North American Act (BNA Act). This distribution of authority remained unchanged after the Canadian constitution was repatriated from Britain in 1982. At this time the Constitution Act was proclaimed.

The Canadian federal government is responsible for:

  • • Setting and administering national principles or standards for the health care system (for example, through the Canada Health Act) and assisting in the financing of provincial health care services through fiscal transfers
  • • Delivering direct health services to specific groups, including veterans, Native Canadians living on reserves, military personnel, inmates of federal penitentiaries, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • • Fulfilling other health-related functions, such as health protection, disease prevention, and health promotion

Provincial and territorial governments are responsible for:

  • • Managing and delivering health services
  • • Planning, financing, and evaluating the provision of hospital care and physician and allied health care services
  • • Managing some aspects of prescription care and public health

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 1