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Canadian Health Practitioner Standards and your Insurance Coverage

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This page provides information to Canadians about Canadian Health Practitioner standards.

In order to ensure that Canadians have access to the best possible health care, the government of Canada and several medical associations have created Canadian health practitioner standards which must be met by all those practicing medicine in Canada. Strict standards for education and training, set out by groups such as the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, are designed to ensure every medical practitioner is providing high quality care to the citizens of Canada. Along with the Canada Health Act, which enables all Canadians to have access to health care regardless of income, these standards help ensure an equal level of care across the country.

Canadian Health Practitioner How Standards and Public Insurance Plans Ensure Equality
Canadian health practitioner standards make sure that no one can practice medicine in Canada unless they meet all of the requirements for education, training and experience deemed to be required in order to provide specific health services. The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons creates the standards for the type of education and number of years of education that are required for all doctors and surgeons to practice in their chosen specialty.

Due to the fact that every doctor and surgeon is required to meet these standards, you can be sure that no matter where you are seeking medical care across Canada, you will be guaranteed that the practitioner has the required skills and education to provide you with excellent care.

Because the Canada Health Act provides the standards by which each province must provide health insurance to its residents in order to receive federal funding, every resident of each Canadian province has access to highly skilled doctors regardless of their level of income. This means that low income families will receive care from doctors who have met the same standards as high income families; the ability to pay has no impact on care. Thus the Canadian health practitioner standards and the publicly funded health care system work together to provide equal care to every Canadian.

Concerns about Doctor Shortages
Due to Canada’s strict health practitioner standards, physicians from other countries, wishing to come to Canada to practice, often do not meet the standards. This has led to well-founded additional concern regarding the fact that, along with doctors leaving Canada to practice in the United States, these standards are contributing to the problem of doctor shortages in Canada.

There are some who argue that a privatized system would keep more of the Canadian-educated doctors in Canada, but many fear that this would lead to an inequality in the availability of high quality care for all Canadian citizens. Currently, a combination of public insurance for basic health care and private supplemental insurance as an option continues to have the support of most Canadians. Certainly it is agreed that ensuring medical practitioners have high standards is vital to good health care in Canada.

Standards for Practitioners Other than Doctors
Beyond the standards for doctors practicing in Canada, there are many other associations creating standards in other areas of health care. Nurses, therapists, and even homeopathic practitioners have also developed their own standards. The Canadian Nurses Association and Natural Health Practitioners of Canada are among the associations responsible for establishing and maintaining standards in these areas.

Whether you are seeing a doctor under your provincial health care plan, or a naturopath through your private insurance policy, Canadian health practitioner standards ensure that any care you receive in Canada meets certain requirements and promises you high quality health care.

Best Doctors
Best Doctors Canada offers medical services to Canadians, including consulting and information from top
physicians and specialists across the country and much more for a yearly fee. Best Doctors continue to build their database of highly qualified physicians by anonymously surveying their peers. Their goal is to make sure patients are correctly diagnosed and given the right treatment and care. Best Doctors want you to receive sound advice regarding your specific medical condition.