Health Policy and Process (HTLB40 F LEC01)
Professor: Kathleen Gamble
Reaction Paper 1, Fall 2013
The Canada Health Act with Its Key Features, Strengths and Limitations
Name: Viet Dung Nguyen
Student ID: 997168354
The welfare reform system has been experienced through out the mid-1990s providing a powerful lesson for how best to reconstruct health care in Canada. Even though the new federal plan that continues to give more support of provincial health care getting through the Canada Health Transfer, there is still limited opportunity for experimentation so on the reform despite the federal government did not attach strings to the funding. The reason why not all provinces can access these funding to use for the experimentation and innovation is mainly because the Canada Health Act remaining as a fact to challenge based on its financial act providing terms and conditions under which a province is entitled and accessed cash for health and social services from the federal government. Indeed, we can sense how important the Canadian Health Act’s role in term of over affecting to health care system and its finance so we would like to dig in and learn more about its key features and strength so on with its limitations.
Flown back to historical stream of health care system in Canada, in spite of opposition from the provinces and medical associations, the Canada Health Act was passed unanimously in 1984 and received Royal Assent on 1st April as one of the last acts of Parliament from the last Trudeau government. The Act replaced and consolidated the 1957 and 1966 federal health legislation, reaffirmed the federal government’s commitment to the four principles of medicare and added accessibility as a fifth principle (The Canada Health Act, 1984) with two conditions. The first one is that these provinces must provide information to the federal minister of health as needed and secondly they must give appropriate recognition to federal financial contributions to insured and extended health services. Last for at least, the act hold and prohibited some extra-
billing and the imposition fees from users. For insured health services, the Canada Health Act transfer funds to the provinces such as hospital services rendered to an insured person for the purpose of maintaining health, preventing disease, diagnosing or treating injuries, illness or disability, including accommodation and meals, so on with medical procedures which carried out in hospitals (Canada, Library 2003). For extended health services, following services such as nursing home, adult residential, medical component of home care and ambulatory health care service also provide. The act further concerns specifically that extended health services, which usually conducted outside of the hospitals and by nonmedical practices, were exempt from provisions banning users fees and extra-billing (Canada, Library 2003). The act also has the right for discretionary penalties if the five principles of medicare and/or the two condition of the Act are violated. The deduction of federal cash transfer will be checked based on the gravity of the default.
In order to strengthen the objectives, which was already made clear by the foundation of the Act – to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well-being of Canadian residents as well as facilitate reasonable access to hospital services without financial or any other barriers, the Act constrains five key criteria with conditions under which the provinces must follow to receive their federal payment transfer. For public administration, there is always having some misunderstood. The health insurance plans must be “administered and operated on a non-profit basis by a public authority, responsible to the provincial/territorial governments and subject to audits of their account and financial transaction.” (Section 8) The crucial point