A review of Canadian health care and cancer care systems

Cancer. 2011 May 15;117(10 Suppl):2241-4. doi: 10.1002/cncr.26053.


Canada is a westernized, market-economy nation with a publicly funded health care and cancer control system and has health indices reflective of a high-resource economy. Provision of health services is in accord with the Canada Health Act and is implemented through federal, provincial, and territorial relations wherein federal funding partly provides support for the provincial/territorial delivery of health services. Cancer services are provided within the acute health care system with dedicated entities existing in parallel in most provinces to provide services specific to the diagnosis, treatment, and support of cancer patients. Interprovincial and territorial collaboration to enhance and facilitate optimal cancer system performance is enabled through the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Canadian national cancer control initiative). Adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients use both the pediatric and adult cancer systems. There is recognition, however, that although AYA patients are numerically a small portion of all cancer patients, the negative personal, societal, and socioeconomic impacts of potential years of life lost are substantial and can be lessened through attention to awareness, education, redesign of care and care pathways, quality of life, developmental aspects related to adolescent-teen-adult transitions, continuity of care, and surveillance across pediatric and adult settings. Appropriate solutions need to be established within the framework of the Canadian Health Service by innovative rethinking and realignment of system capacity and performance to the special needs of AYA cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services
  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Child Health Services
  • Delivery of Health Care* / economics
  • Health Services
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / therapy*