Medical Tuesday Blog
The Cost Of “Free Health Care” In Canada
August 16, 2013
Canadians often misunderstand the true cost of their public health care system. This occurs partly because Canadians do not incur direct expenses for their use of health care and partly because Canadians cannot readily determine the value of their contribution to public health care insurance, say Nadeem Esmail and Milagros Palacios of the Fraser Institute.
In 2013, the estimated average payment for public health care insurance will range from $3,387 to $11,381 for Canadian families, depending on the type of family.
One reason why Canadians don’t know the true cost of health care is because physician and hospital services covered by tax-funded health care insurance are free at the point of use. This situation leads many to grossly underestimate the actual cost of the health care delivered. One often hears people speaking of “free” health care in Canada, which is a statement that entirely ignores the substantial taxpayer-funded cost of the health care system.
This would be the cost of the public health care insurance plan if every Canadian resident paid an equal share. Canadians certainly do not pay equal tax amounts each year, however. Indeed, some Canadians are children and dependents and are not taxpayers.
Source: Nadeem Esmail and Milagros Palacios, “The Price of Public Health Care Insurance,” Fraser Institute, July 2013.
Canadian Medicare does not give timely access to healthcare, it only gives access to a waiting list.
–Canadian Supreme Court Decision 2005 SCC 35,  1 S.C.R. 791