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Canada Health Act

In addition to replacing the Hospital Insurance and Diagnostic Services Act (1957) and the Medical Care Act (1966), and restating the four initial principles of medicare and adding a fifth (accessibility), the Canada Health Act of 1984 required provinces to provide the federal minister with statistical information related to insured health services and to acknowledge federal contributions. Section 2 defined insured health services as “hospital services, physician services and surgical-dental services provided to insured persons,” and hospital services as “services [that are] medically necessary for the purpose of maintaining health, preventing disease or diagnosing or treating an injury, illness or disability,” including accommodation and meals, nursing services, drugs, and all medical and surgical equipment and supplies. The new law also defined extended health care services, such as nursing home care, adult residential care and ambulatory care, but exempted such services from the medicare principles and the ban on extra-billing and user fees. By including a mandatory dollar-for-dollar reduction in federal transfer payments for provinces that continued to allow extra-billing or user fees, the federal government was reasserting its authority to set national health standards.

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    Date Created: March 31, 2010 | Last Updated: April 21, 2010