Canada's publicly funded health care system is best described as an interlocking set of ten provincial and three territorial health insurance plans. Known to Canadians as "medicare", the system provides access to universal, comprehensive coverage for medically necessary hospital and physician services. Under the health care system, individual citizens are provided preventative care and medical treatments from primary care physicians as well as access to hospitals, dental surgery and additional medical services. With a few exceptions, all citizens qualify for health coverage regardless of medical history, personal income, or standard of living.
The federal government, the ten provinces, and the three territories have key roles to play in the health care system in Canada. Health Canada's mandate is to help Canadians maintain and improve their health. Among other activities, Health Canada's responsibilities for health care include setting and administering national principles for the health care system through the Canada Health Act and delivering health care services to specific groups (e.g., First Nations and Inuit).
Working in partnership with provinces and territories, Health Canada also supports the health care system through initiatives in areas such as health human resources planning, adoption of new technologies and primary health care delivery.
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hcs-sss/index_e.html (accessed on 23.04.2009)