Learning from Australia to expand Canadian medicare
Australia modeled its medicare program on Canada’s Medicare program. While Australia adapted its program to account for constitutional and historical differences between the two countries, the key elements in the programs are the same. The core similarities are access to no-charge hospital services and universal coverage for necessary medical services (albeit with a variable co-payment in Australia). There are also significant differences between the two countries’ health programs, whether or not they’re labelled as ‘medicare’.
This paper discusses four areas where Canada could potentially learn from Australian medicare, including the adoption of a national pharmaceutical benefits plan and support for older people. You’ll also learn about aspects of the Australian healthcare system that Canada should avoid, including high out-of-pocket costs and the role of private provision.