Canada’s health care system needs a revamp

While many services are covered, long wait times, shortage of doctors, and the cost of prescriptions cause drawbacks for many

Despite an increase in healthcare transfers from the federal government to provinces in 2023, the healthcare crisis is continuing nationwide. (Freepik/Allexxandar)

Despite an increase in healthcare transfers from the federal government to provinces in 2023, the healthcare crisis is continuing nationwide. (Freepik/Allexxandar)

Health care is one of the most important concerns for government bodies, which is why they invest a lot of money in funding comprehensive healthcare systems for their citizens. Canada’s health care is a government-funded system in which each province and territory is responsible for providing universal health coverage to all Canadians. 

Informally known as Medicare, the publicly funded health care system provides services to all Canadians, regardless of their social position. A resident who has access to their medical health care card does not have to be concerned about many large medical expenditures at hospitals. 

Canada has been known to have a great healthcare system, but there are certain drawbacks, such as long wait times to visit a specialist, paying a lot of money for prescription drugs, and not being able to receive physical therapy among others services that are not covered by health insurance. 

Canadian healthcare also prioritizes family doctors before sending patients to specialists, often following a maximum six month wait time benchmark from a family doctor’s referral to getting the medically required service. This becomes a disadvantage for individuals seeking early treatment. 

As a result, extended waiting times have a disastrous effect on patients’ health as it can deteriorate over that time and could lead to further complications, especially when they’re suffering from degenerative diseases like cancer. 

However, many Canadians, particularly international students, have families back home, which is the first step in getting treatment for their suffering as physicians deal with a wide range of concerns to determine who requires the care of a specialist which eventually helps with the early detection of diseases. 

There is also a doctor shortage in Canada which results oftentimes less quality in health care. Patients in remote areas are also at a disadvantage when it comes to seeking care since there is a scarcity of doctors in those areas. 

Hospitals are also facing challenges of timely care. Patients who visit the emergency room (ER) must wait for an extended period waiting due to a lack of organization among health-care providers. This can lead to major issues with any disease the patients are seeking treatment for in the first place. 

One of the most pressing issues confronting Canada right now is the scarcity of Canadian medical practitioners. Rural communities in particular are taking a bad hit due to nursing staff and physician shortages. This present challenge won’t age well in the upcoming years because it is critical to have adequate medical staff for the future of health services in Canada.  

In B.C, international students face difficulties paying their medical expenditures because they must register and pay a monthly fee of roughly $75 under the Medical Services Plan (MSP). 

To improve treatment outcomes, shorten patient recovery times, and eliminate appointment wait-times, more effective medical technologies are required. Government and medical experts need to take advantage of new medical technologies’ potential to strengthen the Canadian health system.

My friends have informed me of highly experienced doctors who immigrated to Canada and are now employed as labourers or Uber drivers. Regardless of how similar medical procedures are worldwide, the government denies foreign medical professionals from practising in Canada. More residency places should be opened by the government, and foreign practitioners should be accepted after a thorough background check and, if necessary, an exam. 

Even though Canada can offer decent, if not excellent, healthcare, thoughtful changes need to be made towards the system so Canadians can benefit from health care that provides safe, timely, efficient, and effective services.