Canadian Federalism and the Canadian Health Care Program: A Comparison of Ontario and Quebec

Int J Health Serv. 1987;17(4):595-616. doi: 10.2190/1X9F-4Q4H-FE89-5MUE.

Abstract

The Quebec and Ontario health insurance and health service delivery systems, developed within the parameters of federal regulations and national financial subsidies, provide generally universal and comprehensive basic hospital and medical benefits and increasingly provide for the delivery of long-term care services. Within a framework of cooperative federalism, the health care systems of Ontario and Quebec have developed uniquely. In terms of vital statistics, the health of Ontario and Quebec residents generally is comparable. In viewing expenditures, Quebec has a more clearly articulated plan for providing accessible services to low-income persons and for integrating health and social services, although it has faced some difficulties in seeking to achieve the latter goal. Its plans for decentralized services are counter-balanced by a strong provincial role in health policy decision-making. Quebec's political culture also allows the province to play a stronger role in hospital planning and in the regulation of physician income than one finds in Ontario. These political dynamics allow Quebec an advantage in control of costs. In Ontario, in spite of some recent setbacks, physician interests and hospital sector interests play a more active role in health system bargaining and are usually able to influence remuneration and resource allocation decisions more than physician interests and hospital sector interests in Quebec.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Delivery of Health Care* / economics
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health
  • National Health Programs*
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • Social Work
  • Vital Statistics