Understanding Health Care


We have introduced this section of the web site in an effort to improve access to MRG information that might help visitors  better understand the health care system in Canada. Information from a variety of sources is organized under seven Information Categories. Links to those categories are on the right hand menu.

Health care systems are, by their nature, complex. The Canadian health care system is no exception. We have mixed systems of funding (largely public funding for physician and hospital services; mixed private and public for other services including drugs, home care, dental care, eye care, etc.); mixed systems of delivery (private not-for-profit hospitals; small business model of physician services; multinational investor-owned for-profit companies for drugs); and mixed systems of administration (public administration of physician and hospital services; mixed public and private insurance administration in other areas).

As in every other health system in the world, Canadian health care faces enormous challenges. Pressures of increasing demand include the public’s desire for availability of high quality care, demand for resources from health care providers and increasing technological sophistication. At the same time, there is a limited amount that the public is willing to pay for health care either in taxes or privately. How to best meet public expectations in a world of resource constraints remains a source of intense debate.

This section of the MRG website is designed to inform you about current issues in health care delivery in Canada. The material you find here is consistent with the MRG’s health care philosophy. As a result, most if not all documents start from the position that all Canadians are entitled to high quality health care irrespective of ability to pay. Further, most have as an underlying assumption that we should take a broader view of health than health care alone, and acknowledge social, political, and economic factors that determine who is healthy, and who is not.

The links at the right will take you to documents written by MRG members and endorsed by the group, other documents that we think are particularly informative, and links to other valuable websites and resources. You will find the Romanow Commission report, likely to be a very valuable source of information for many years to come. MRG steering committee member Gordon Guyatt produces a bi-monthly column for the online news service Straight Goods, the Hamilton Spectator and the Winnipeg Free Press. These columns provide bite-sized chunks of information about health care controversies, and are designed to provide the background information needed to become adequately informed. You will also find key articles from “Medical Reform”, the Medical Reform Group’s newsletter (you can also obtain a pdf copy of the entire newsletter), addressing the most current issues. Original articles from the medical literature, and reports prepared by faculty in university settings, or researchers and scholars working for private foundations, provide an academic orientation to both evidence and analysis.

Whether you are hoping to gain a general background, or to find information regarding a specific topic, this section of our website will help address your need for both evidence and analysis.



 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>