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Medicare is the name of the publicly funded health care program in Canada. Ten provinces and three territories have separate health insurance programs. The goal of Canada's healthcare system is to guarantee that everyone has unrestricted access to medically necessary hospital and physician services without worrying about their financial situation.

The functions and obligations pertaining to health care services are shared by the federal, provincial, and territorial governments. These governments are in charge of organizing, providing, and managing health care services for the citizens of those provinces and territories.

The federal government is also accountable for a number of things. By virtue of the Canada Health Act, it establishes and maintains the national standards for the healthcare systems. It offers financial support for the care services in every province and territory as well as assistance with the provision of healthcare to certain populations and other health-related initiatives.

How many hospitals in Canada?

In 2021, there were 1,300 hospitals in Canada with most of them in Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta. Ontario had 387, Quebec 225, and Alberta 177 hospitals. The lowest number of hospitals were in the territories and on Prince Edward Island. There were 28 hospitals in Nunavut, 22 in Northwest Territories, in Yukon, and 11 on Prince Edward Island. Over 644,000 people worked in Canadian hospitals in 2019.

The number of general hospitals was about fifteen per one million Canadians. This means the rate of general hospitals is higher than in the United States, but lower compared to many other OECD countries.

How many hospital beds in Canada?

For numerous decades, there have been fewer hospital beds per 1,000 people. Almost seven hospital beds were available for every ten thousand individuals in the 1970s and early 1980s. The number of beds per thousand persons had dropped to 6.5 by 1988.

From that point on, hospital bed occupancy fell more quickly; in 1990, there were just six hospital beds for every 1,000 Canadians. There were just 3.8 beds ten years later, in 2000. There were just 2.5 hospital beds for every 1,000 persons in 2019.

How many physicians in Canada?

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) estimates that as of 2021, there were 93,998 physicians in Canada, or 246 physicians for every 100,000 people. From 2020, the number of doctors increased by 2%. But just 1.2% more family doctors were practicing, with specialists accounting for the majority of the 2.8% increase in new medical professionals.

Family doctors make up 52% of the medical workforce in Canada; specialists make up the remaining 48%. In Canada, the percentage of female physicians is still rising; in 2021, there were 49.1% female family physicians and 39.5% female specialists. In Canada, the average age of a doctor was 49.2. The mean age of female physicians was seen to be 46.1 years, as opposed to 51.7 years.

Top 20 Best Hospitals In Canada 2024 - 2025 By Newsweek and Statista
Top 20 Best Hospitals In Canada By Newsweek and Statista

The Canada Health Act

A federal statute in Canada called the Canada Health Act established the foundation for the publicly funded healthcare system. All Canadian provinces and territories are required to make sure that their health insurance policies adhere to the requirements outlined in the Canada Health Act. Public administration, accessibility, portability, universality, and comprehensiveness are among the standards outlined in the Act.

This basically means that health care must be planned in a way that is reasonably accessible to all citizens in all provinces and regions. All inhabitants must be covered by the plan, both when they travel inside Canada and, to some extent, outside of it. The plan, which must be run by a public body on a non-profit basis, covers all essential medical services provided by physicians, hospitals, and dentists.

How much is healthcare cost in Canada?

According to Statista, Canada's health service spending more than doubled between 2005 and 2022. The amount spent on health care in 2005 was $140.4 billion. It reached over $200 billion for the first time in 2012, when it was $207.9 billion. When $305 billion was spent in total in 2020, the $300 billion threshold was surpassed. Compared to $269.4 billion in 2019, this was the largest rise ever.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a higher than usual number of hospital admissions, and the expense of immunizing Canadians were probably the main causes of the dramatic increase in health care costs. Statista did, however, forecast that spending would increase further, hitting $328.4 billion in 2021 and $330.9 billion in 2022.

Additionally, the share of Canada's GDP that goes into the health care system has increased. The World Bank estimates that in 2000, Canada's health spending accounted for 8.25% of GDP. After reaching 10.72% in 2009, it continuously stayed above 10% for the following ten years. 2020 saw health spending account for 12.94% of GDP, which was to be expected given the additional costs associated with COVID-19. The cost accounted for 11.68% of Canada's GDP in 2021.

Canadian Health Care System Statistics

• Since 2020, Canada has spent more than $300 billion a year on healthcare.

• In 2021, healthcare spending accounted for 11.68% of Canada's GDP.

• To cover expenses not covered by public health insurance, almost 65% of Canadians carry supplemental private health insurance.

In 2021, there were 1,300 hospitals in Canada.

• As of 2021, there are 2.5 hospital beds per 1,000 persons, a loss of one bed.

• In 2021, there were around 94,000 physicians in Canada.

Merely 8% of physicians in Canada work in rural regions.

• There were more than 459,000 registered nurses in Canada in 2021.

• Since 1993, treatment wait times have increased by 175%.

• Sixty-three percent of Canadians believe that the health care system faces staffing shortages.

Top 20 Best Hospitals In Canada By Newsweek and Statista

1. Toronto General - University Health Network

Situated in the center of Toronto, Toronto General Hospital is a preeminent medical facility acknowledged for its exceptional medical treatments, innovative research, and dedication to patient care.

Team and Specialties: The hospital has a committed group of incredibly talented doctors and specialists that work in a variety of specializations, such as neurology, cardiology, and transplant surgery.

Infrastructure: Toronto General Hospital has state-of-the-art amenities, such as sophisticated surgical suites, critical care units with specialist staff, and advanced imaging and diagnostic technology.

2. Sunnybrook Medical Center

Known for its cutting-edge medical research, specialist treatment, and dedication to innovation, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is a preeminent academic health sciences facility in Toronto.

Team and Specialties: The hospital is home to a committed group of expert physicians and specialists that provide a variety of specializations, such as cancer treatment, cardiovascular surgery, trauma care, and more.

Infrastructure: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including sophisticated surgical suites, critical care units, and cutting-edge imaging and diagnostic technology.

3. Mount Sinai Hospital

Known for its innovative approach to healthcare, patient-centered care, and specialized services, Mount Sinai Hospital is a top medical facility in Toronto, Ontario.

Team and Specialties: Women's health, cancer treatment, and cardiovascular medicine are just a few of the areas in which the hospital's committed team of highly qualified medical experts and specialists concentrate.

Infrastructure: Mount Sinai Hospital has a state-of-the-art surgical suite, specialist critical care units, and sophisticated diagnostic and imaging capabilities.

4. North York General Medical Center

In Toronto, Ontario, Canada, there is a teaching hospital called North York General Hospital (NYGH). Serving the southern York Region and the North York area primarily, it provides acute care, ambulatory, and long-term treatments at several locations. NYGH is one of the three hospitals that make up the Peters-Boyd Academy of the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. It is recognized as one of Canada's top community academic hospitals and is associated with the University of Toronto.

5. Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal

One of the two main healthcare networks in Montreal, Quebec, is the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM), also known as the University of Montreal Health Centre. It is an educational establishment connected to the Université de Montréal, which is taught in French.

6. McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) - Montreal General Hospital

Founded in 1821, the Montreal General Hospital (MGH) has an exceptional history of community service and a respected international reputation. The first medical school in Canada, the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, was established by the MGH, a pioneering hospital in North America that also pioneered teaching at the bedside.

7. Jewish General Medical Center

The Jewish General Hospital (JGH; French: Hôpital général juif) is an acute-care teaching hospital located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Since 1978, it has been formally known as the Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital (French: Hôpital général juif Sir Mortimer B. Davis). The hospital, which has 637 beds and is associated with McGill University, is among the largest hospital sites in Canada.

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8. St. Michael's Hospital - Unity Health Toronto

Serving Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Unity Health Toronto is a network of Catholic hospitals. It was first established in 2017 after the merger of St. Michael's Hospital, Providence Healthcare, and St. Joseph's Health Centre.[1] It was formerly known as Our Shared Purpose.[2] At the time, it was the largest Catholic health care network in Canada. [3] All three of the network's facilities are members of Catholic Health Sponsors of Ontario, and the CHSO is in charge of maintaining adherence to the Sisters of St. Joseph's founding principles.[4] Tim Rutledge serves as CEO.

9. Vancouver General Hospital

Through regional programs, Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) provides specialized healthcare services to people in Vancouver and around the province. We offer British Columbia a comprehensive spectrum of trauma and emergency medical services, ranging from basic to highly specialized.

10. University Health Network

In Toronto, Ontario, Canada, there is a significant teaching and research hospital called the Toronto Western Hospital (TWH). It is a component of UHN, or the University Health Network. Its emergency room receives 46,000 visits a year and has 256 beds. It was among the first Canadian facilities to use the gamma knife and is well-known for its neurosurgery capabilities. In addition, the Donald K. Johnson Eye Center and the Krembil Research Institute's headquarters, the Krembil Discovery Tower, are located there.

11. Ottawa Hospital

The Ottawa Hospital is a well-known medical facility in Ottawa, Ontario, that is renowned for its extensive medical services, innovative research, and dedication to providing compassionate care.

Team and Specialties: Emergency medicine, neurology, cardiology, and other specialties are only a few of the many specializations covered by the hospital's committed team of extremely talented medical professionals and specialists.

Infrastructure: The Ottawa Hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic and imaging tools, contemporary surgical suites, and specialized critical care facilities.

12. McGill University Health Centre

In Barrie, Ontario, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) is a preeminent medical facility renowned for its cutting-edge infrastructure, dedication to innovation, and top-notch patient care.

Team and specializations: Emergency medicine, cardiology, oncology, and other specializations are among the many services provided by the committed team of highly qualified medical professionals and specialists at RVH.

sophisticated infrastructure is available at RVH, including cutting-edge imaging and diagnostic centers, critical care specialist units, and sophisticated surgical suites.

13. Rockyview General Medical Center

Rockyview General Hospital (RGH) provides a comprehensive range of acute and outpatient treatment, including emergency, critical care, urology, and ophthalmology, to around 220,000 people annually.

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14. Foxtons Medical Center

Known for its extensive medical services, state-of-the-art research, and commitment to patient-centered care, Foothills Medical Centre is a well-known healthcare facility in Calgary, Alberta.

Team and fields: The hospital is home to a group of exceptionally talented doctors and experts that work in a variety of fields, such as neurology, cardiology, and oncology.

Modern infrastructure is available at Foothills Medical Centre, including state-of-the-art surgical facilities, critical care specialist units, and cutting-edge imaging and diagnostic tools.

15. Hamilton Health Sciences - McMaster University Medical Centre

Hamilton General Hospital is a regional facility with expertise in stroke, neurology, trauma and burn care, cardiac and vascular care, and rehabilitation.

16. Peter Lougheed Centre

An acute care, full-service hospital that treats over 150,000 patients a year. The southern Alberta center of excellence for hematology, pulmonary, vascular surgery, addictions, and mental health is the Peter Lougheed Centre. Situated in the northeastern sector of Calgary, the facility provides round-the-clock emergency care and may be reached via LRT.

17. Saskatoon City Hospital

Located in the City Park neighborhood of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, lies Saskatoon City Hospital, a public hospital. The first hospital was Canada's second municipal hospital, having opened its doors in 1909. Early in the 1990s, the historic building was closed and destroyed, and a new City Hospital opened its doors in 1993.

18. VCH - UBC Hospital

Three separate buildings, the Purdy, Koerner, and Detwiller Pavilions, make up UBC Hospital. Koerner mostly provides acute care, Purdy provides residential and extended care, and Detwiller provides psychiatric treatments.

Eight operating rooms, including two for the Centre for Surgical Innovation, and 800 employees, including 270 doctors and 450 nurses, comprise the acute section of UBC Hospital. The Bladder Care Center, the Movement Disorders/Parkinson's Clinic, the Sleep Disorders Program, the Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, the Clinic for Alzheimer Disease and Cognitive Disorders, the Breast Reconstruction Program, the Mood Disorders Center, and the Operational Stress Injury Clinic are just a few of the clinics that receive about 21,600 patient visits each year at the hospital[3].

19. Queen Elizabeth II Medical Center

Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre is a sizable teaching hospital and Level 1 Trauma Center connected to Dalhousie University. Adult patients are cared for by the QEII. The IWK Health Centre provides pediatric care to patients in the area. The QEII is a component of the Nova Scotia Health Authority administratively.

20. Carleton Hospital in Queensway

The sole full-service hospital in west Ottawa, Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH), is a 355-bed facility that provides acute treatment. It is situated in the western part of the city of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Serving a population of almost 500,000, QCH was officially established on October 5, 1976 by Ontario Premier William Davis. It is currently the secondary referral center for the Ottawa Valley. The primary areas of focus for QCH's healthcare services include emergency, obstetrics, geriatrics, mental health, rehabilitative medicine, and critical care.

Top 50 Best Hospitals In Canada (21-50)

21 Royal Alexandra Hospital
22 Royal Jubilee Hospital
23 Southlake Regional Health Centre
24 Grey Nuns Community Hospital - Covenant Health
25 St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
26 Lachine Hospital - McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)
27 Trillium Health Partners - The Credit Valley Hospital
28 University of Alberta Hospital
29 Victoria General Hospital
30 Halton Healthcare - Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital
31 CHUL - CHU de Québec-Université Laval
32 St. Mary’s Hospital Centre
33 Grace Hospital
34 Kingston General Hospital
35 Providence Health Care - St. Paul's Hospital
36 St. Boniface Hospital
37 Bluewater Health
38 Royal Columbian Hospital
39 Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital
40 William Osler Health System - Etobicoke General Hospital
41 Joseph Brant Hospital
42 Horizon Health Network - Saint John Regional Hospital
43 Hamilton Health Sciences - Juravinski Hospital
44 Hôpital Montfort
45 Humber River Hospital
46 Trillium Health Partners - Mississauga Hospital
47 Victoria General Hospital
48 Victoria Hospital - London Health Sciences Centre
49 Hamilton Health Sciences - Hamilton General Hospital
50 Unity Health Toronto - St. Joseph’s Health Centre

In brief

With universal access to healthcare, Canada is renowned for having one of the greatest healthcare systems in the world. The health care system in Canada is based on the principles of affordability, equality, and universality and provides health care to all Canadians regardless of their level of income, employment status, or pre-existing health conditions.

All Canadians, regardless of background or financial level, are entitled to free universal healthcare, which covers all necessary medical care. While public health insurance covers all Canadians, almost two-thirds of the population have additional health insurance to cover for treatments not included under the public health insurance.

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