Healthcare and Medical Treatment in Canada

Primary healthcare

Canada’s primary healthcare system provides services to individuals, families and communities. It also involves a proactive approach to preventing health problems and ensuring better management and follow-up once a health problem has occurred.

These services are publicly funded from general tax revenues without direct charges to the patient.

A patient may be referred for specialised care at a hospital or long-term care facility or in the community. The majority of Canadian hospitals are operated by community boards of trustees, voluntary organisations or municipalities.

Healthcare services are mainly provided in long-term institutions, paid for by the provincial and territorial governments, while room and board are paid for by the individual; in some cases these payments are subsidised by the provincial and territorial governments.

Healthcare services can also be provided in the home and/or community. Referrals to home care can be made by doctors, hospitals, community agencies, families and potential residents.

These services, such as specialised nursing care, homemaker services and adult day care, are provided to people who are partially or totally incapacitated. Needs are assessed and services are coordinated to provide continuity of care and comprehensive care.

Provincial services

The provinces and territories also provide coverage to certain groups of people – seniors, children and social assistance recipients, for example – for health services that are not generally covered under the publicly funded health care system.

These supplementary health benefits often include prescription drugs, dental care, vision care, medical equipment and appliances (prostheses, wheelchairs, etc.), independent living and the services of allied health professionals, such as podiatrists and chiropractors.

Funding the system

Like the NHS in Britain, Canada provides a good but not perfect system of healthcare. The level of coverage varies across the country and many Canadians have supplemental private insurance coverage through group plans, which covers the cost of these supplementary services.

The Canadian Medical Association believes an estimated four million of Canada’s 33 million population don’t have a family doctor and more than one million are waiting for treatment.

Canada has 2.1 physicians per 1,000 people, while Belgium has 3.9, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Much of the resentment towards the healthcare system is caused by the fact that so much of Canada’s already high tax goes towards it. The average Canadian family pays about 48 per cent of its income in taxes each year and, while rates vary from province to province, Ontario, the most populous, spends around 40 per cent of its tax revenue on health, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

The federation, which campaigns for tax reform and private enterprise in healthcare, believes the system is suffering serious financial challenges. It calculates that by 2035, Ontario will be spending 85 per cent of its budget on healthcare.

The federal government and most provinces acknowledge there’s a crisis: a lack of physicians and nurses, state-of-the-art equipment and funding. In Ontario, more than 10,000 nurses and hospital workers are facing layoffs over the next two years unless the provincial government boosts funding, says the Ontario Hospital Association, which represents healthcare providers in the province.

In 1984 Parliament passed the Canada Health Act, which affirmed the federal government’s commitment to provide mostly free healthcare to all, including the 200,000 immigrants arriving each year. The system is called Medicare (no relation to Medicare in the United States).

Despite the financial burden, Canadians value their Medicare as a marker of egalitarianism and independent identity that sets their country apart from the United States, where some 45 million Americans lack health insurance.

In 2000 The World Health Organisation ranked Canada 30th in the provision of public healthcare and the United States 37th. France’s system was ranked the best, followed by Italy, Spain, Oman and Australia.

The Fine Print of Health Care in Canada

The Canadian Federal Government subsidizes the system of healthcare in Canada. This is done through the taxes and individual pays to its province and these contributions are put back into the health care system of the province. This single payer system, as it is called, allows for the payment of the entire cost of the services by the government at the same rates throughout the country.

Since Canada is the second largest country in the world, it’s the national system of healthcare in Canada is governed by the Canada Health Act. The law provides for universally available coverage for permanent residents regardless of income levels. This coverage is comprehensive and can be availed of throughout the country as it is publicly administered. The provinces and territories are the primary providers of their healthcare plans and each of them must provide prepaid coverage for all medical services from provision, public health and prescription of necessary care for the individual.

Another benefit of the system is the provision for partial reimbursement of treatments obtained while outside Canada. It is also advised that Canadians traveling overseas obtain the proper medical insurance to avoid the higher medical costs in other countries especially for emergency care. As for prescription medication, the Canada Health Act requires hospitals to provide for free the necessary medication and supplies for the individual so long as they are admitted into the hospital.

Thus the main issue in the system of healthcare in Canada is the burden of costs for post hospital care. Drugs and prescription medication are very expensive in the country also rehabilitative treatment such as physiotherapy, dental treatment and other services are not covered by the system. This is addressed by the employer-employee comprehensive medical insurance coverage. Though only 80% of this rehabilitative cost is assumed in this program, this is already a big savings for you. The remaining 20% can be covered by a private medical insurance provider after your payment of their premiums.

As observed by many experts, the quality of healthcare in Canada differs among the provinces comprising the country. This is most especially highlighted in the rural communities of the country, as many specialized medical functions are not available compared to the urban areas. This is due to the differentiated funding and policies of the provincial governments and this correlates directly to the quality of health care in the areas. A secondary issue is the increasing flight of medical professionals to the more lucrative practices in the United States. This is clearly seen in the nursing profession, as many Canadian nurses opt to go to the United States for higher pay. A third issue is the increasing waiting time for patients to see specialists or choose to undergo elective surgery or even have diagnostic testing. This is clearly seen in the crowded emergency rooms in many of the hospitals all across the country.

5 Reasons Why You Should Immigrate To Canada Rather Than USA!

You might be thinking I am crazy to say that and wondering how can a cold country with a meager population of 35 million be better for immigration than the mighty superpower with a population of 318 million? Don’t get me wrong. USA is a great country to immigrate. Most of the times when I said “I am going to a foreign country”, people used to ask “which state in USA?” So, yes, USA is the most favorite country among immigrants around the world. No doubt about it. However, there are a few reasons why I chose to come to Canada, and why I prefer to live in Canada rather than USA. Let us see what they are:

1) Friendly Immigration Policies: People who have crossed both the borders can easily tell you the difference in the airport itself. Yes, Canadian immigration policies are lot simpler and lot friendlier than that of US. It’s relatively easy to obtain a Canadian Study Permit, Work Permit, Tourist Visa, Permanent Residency (PR) or even a Citizenship than that of US. The process that needs to be followed and the documentation required for any of the above are lot easier for Canada rather than USA.

Snippet: Do you know that your spouse can work here in Canada even when you are on a study permit/work permit? Try that in US!

2) Better Healthcare System: Healthcare system in Canada is one of the best publicly funded healthcare systems in the world and everyone receives same level of care regardless of financial status. Not only that, according to Canada Health Act, if you are a resident of Canada, then almost anything that is medically necessary will be treated for free. Don’t get me wrong, you have to pay your monthly premiums as per provincial or territorial health insurance plans though. Believe me, those monthly premiums you pay in Canada are very reasonable and nowhere near the premiums that people pay in US. In British Columbia you will be treated even if you failed to pay your health insurance premiums in the past few months (they might collect the premiums afterwards though). I mean to say, you won’t be denied treatment just because you are not insured.

Snippet: Do you know that all the basic medical and surgical services that are medically necessary are covered for a monthly premium of $70. Try that in US!

3) Affordable Education System: Canada’s education system is mostly public (read “free”) and every child has to go to school starting from the age of 5 until 16 or 18 depending on the province in which they live. You can choose to put your children in public schools (free education) or in Private schools where you need to pay. Don’t misjudge that public education is substandard or is only for poor children, as it is the case in many countries across the globe. According to Statcan, close to 95% of children enrolled in elementary and secondary schools in 2010/2011 are in public schools. Even after your child crosses secondary education, the money you will spend for his/her college/university education can be far less than that you could spend on similar quality of education in USA.

Snippet: According to research conducted by HSBC Canada, the average tuition cost for an international student (based on fees charged in top 10 colleges and universities in Canada) is $18,474. Try that in US!

4) Better Security: Unlike USA, Canada doesn’t have the gun culture. Most of the US states have provisions that allow a common man to carry a concealed weapon. When is the last time you heard that there was a shooting in a US University where a school boy shot his teacher and other classmates? Not very long ago, isn’t it? But, not here in Canada. Canada has strict firearm regulations where gun licenses are managed very well with proper background checks, personal interviews and safety training courses.

Snippet: You will feel absolutely safe travelling in a bus/train even at morning 2am, in most parts of Canada. Try that in US!

5) Better Overall Life Style: Though lifestyle means different for different people, according to OECD Better Life Index, it comprises of Housing, Income, Jobs, Community, Education, Environment, Civic Engagement, Health, Life Satisfaction, Safety, and Work Life Balance. Except for Housing and Income, USA scores less than Canada in every other measure. When I compared 4 factors that I consider important for my life style – Health, Life Satisfaction, Safety and Work Life Balance (go to oecdbetterlifeindex.org to compare different countries’ Better Life Index) – I could clearly see where I want to go!

Snippet: People in Canada are nice and very helpful people. When you get bumped in to a Canadian by mistake, even before you say anything, you will hear a “SORRY” from him. Try that in US!

Which Country Is Better for a Permanent Residency Visa

Both Australia and Canada are beautiful countries; both have high living standards and quality education to offer. Both have common elements including British heritage among other things. Both these countries are popular among the immigrants who are thinking to migrate. People often approach us looking for Visa Immigration Services but most of them are always confused between Australia and Canada. So, here are some comparisons made out.

Australia the smallest continent in the world but is the largest island with warm weather, typical climates are temperate, subtropical or Mediterranean. Canada has mostly the continental type of climate it’s very cold here, during winters. The northern part of Canada mostly covered with snow for around 6 months. When comes to unemployment, Canada has the higher unemployment rate which is 7.1% whereas Australia has an unemployment rate of 6.0% also immigration to Canada is easier and less stringent. The cost of living including housing, rent, groceries are a little high in Australia than in Canada. Healthcare system is slightly better in Australia. People of Canada are friendlier towards the immigrants than in Australia. It would be bad and judgemental if it’s said Australia is a racist country which is not anymore, even though few cases of racism are found but then those don’t make the headlines. Canada is ethnically diverse and multicultural nation which is a product of large scale immigration from many parts of the world.

For permanent residency, both countries follow a point based system, the processing is around 3-4 months in Australia where as in Canada it’s around 5-6 months.

Permanent Residency in Canada

To become a permanent resident, a foreign national must make an application to IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizens of Canada). There are various ways in which one can the fastest being The Express entry system. The express entry is considered the fastest in Canada it has 2 stages first, apply for PR invitation and get selected from a pool of candidates based on total point score (based on age, language, work experience, studies etc.). Secondly, on receiving an invitation, the visa application form has to be to the immigration office. Then it is processed by the IRCC within 6 months from the receipt of application. The PR in Canada sub categorised as federal PR and PNP (Provincial nominee program), the former is applicable all over the country. PR expires after every 5 years and has to be renewed after 5 years. The benefits being a permanent resident holds same rights as Canadian citizens, they also may obtain other social as well as Canadian pension plan benefits.

Permanent Residency in Australia

The processing time is around 3-4 months for key permanent residency visas. There are the skilled independent visas and the skilled nominated visas. To apply for PR one needs to follow the point based immigration system firstly there has to be an online submission of an application that is EOI (Expression of interest) in Skill select online system which is an online form which asks a series of questions about your skills depending upon the visa subclass you select. The score is calculated based on education, skills, experience etc. And if you are selected you will get the ITA for the visa.

Also, there’s another factor that affects your visa which is the rules and regulations, considering the immigration rules and policies of both the countries Canada has easier and flexible immigration rules.

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Getting Cosmetic Surgery in Canada

Canada has an incredible history of cosmetic surgeons. However, many Canadians still wonder if cosmetic surgery is a safe route to take. It is only natural that Canadians wonder if this voluntary surgery is a safe one. There are always a lot of questions circling around voluntary surgeries. That is why it is important to acquire as much information as possible. And Canada is not the only country in which questions loom. The United States also has a lot of questions and speculation wondering around. Mostly because there are some methods used in the United States that are not used elsewhere in the world because of safety concerns.

Cosmetic surgery in Canada

Canadian cosmetic surgery dates back to before World War I. This is because it is a practice that was used to help maimed soldiers. The doctor who performed this surgery was Dr. E. Fulton Risdon. After World War I, he returned to Toronto where he continued to practice cosmetic surgery. This more or less became the only surgery that he performed. He is literally considered the father of cosmetic surgery in Canada.

Something that is great about cosmetic surgery in Canada is the fact that the price is reasonable. When you compare the price of cosmetic surgery in Canada to the price of Cosmetic surgery in the U.S.A., there is a considerable difference in price. There is also a considerable difference in the amount of innovation that occurs. Canada is an innovator in finding the safest and most effective methods in cosmetic surgery. When they do this, they are also able to find some of the most cost-effective methods available. Cosmetic surgery in Canada continues to become cheaper and cheaper.

Cosmetic surgery in the U.S.A.

It has already been mentioned that cosmetic surgery in the U.S.A is more expensive than in Canada. Healthcare all together is more expensive in the U.S. than in many countries around the world. That is why a Canadian will not be caught entering the United States without some sort of travel health insurance to ensure that they will not be stuck with large medical bills.

Cosmetic surgery is no exception. A person literally has to spend their life savings to have cosmetic surgery. They only way to really be able to afford cosmetic surgery is if you’re married to the doctor or a celebrity. There are some procedures such as Botox that are becoming more affordable. A Botox treatment will cost around $200 for four pricks of the needle.

There are also some risky practices happening within the United States. This is because some who do such procedures as Botox injections do not properly dilute the toxin. This has created safety concerns in the United States for those looking to defy the effects of aging. That is why it is always good to see a reputable cosmetic surgeon. Research is needed to ensure there have not been any “mishaps” during surgeries and procedures. Actually, this should be carried out no matter what country you live in. You must do that so you know what you’re getting into.

Health insurance

It doesn’t matter which country you reside in, cosmetic surgery is not covered by health insurance. It is an out-of-pocket expense for everyone. That is why it is important that it is affordable. Although aging is a natural process, too many people are ridiculed by others about their aging. People now want to combat it more than ever. It doesn’t make them live longer. It just makes them feel better about themselves, which can then translate into a few years added onto their life. All it takes is a positive attitude.