Canada Health Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-6)

Act current to 2015-11-16 and last amended on 2012-06-29. Previous Versions

Canada Health Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. C-6

An Act relating to cash contributions by Canada and relating to criteria and conditions in respect of insured health services and extended health care services


WHEREAS the Parliament of Canada recognizes:

—that it is not the intention of the Government of Canada that any of the powers, rights, privileges or authorities vested in Canada or the provinces under the provisions of the Constitution Act, 1867, or any amendments thereto, or otherwise, be by reason of this Act abrogated or derogated from or in any way impaired;

—that Canadians, through their system of insured health services, have made outstanding progress in treating sickness and alleviating the consequences of disease and disability among all income groups;

—that Canadians can achieve further improvements in their well-being through combining individual lifestyles that emphasize fitness, prevention of disease and health promotion with collective action against the social, environmental and occupational causes of disease, and that they desire a system of health services that will promote physical and mental health and protection against disease;

—that future improvements in health will require the cooperative partnership of governments, health professionals, voluntary organizations and individual Canadians;

—that continued access to quality health care without financial or other barriers will be critical to maintaining and improving the health and well-being of Canadians;

AND WHEREAS the Parliament of Canada wishes to encourage the development of health services throughout Canada by assisting the provinces in meeting the costs thereof;

NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:


Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Canada Health Act.

  • 1984, c. 6, s. 1.


Marginal note:Definitions

 In this Act,

“Act of 1977”

“Act of 1977”[Repealed, 1995, c. 17, s. 34]

“cash contribution”

« contribution pécuniaire »

“cash contribution” means the cash contribution in respect of the Canada Health Transfer that may be provided to a province under sections 24.2 and 24.21 of the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act;


“contribution”[Repealed, 1995, c. 17, s. 34]


« dentiste »

“dentist” means a person lawfully entitled to practise dentistry in the place in which the practice is carried on by that person;

“extended health care services”

« services complémentaires de santé »

“extended health care services” means the following services, as more particularly defined in the regulations, provided for residents of a province, namely,

  • (a) nursing home intermediate care service,

  • (b) adult residential care service,

  • (c) home care service, and

  • (d) ambulatory health care service;


« surfacturation »

“extra-billing” means the billing for an insured health service rendered to an insured person by a medical practitioner or a dentist in an amount in addition to any amount paid or to be paid for that service by the health care insurance plan of a province;

“health care insurance plan”

« régime d’assurance-santé »

“health care insurance plan” means, in relation to a province, a plan or plans established by the law of the province to provide for insured health services;

“health care practitioner”

« professionnel de la santé »

“health care practitioner” means a person lawfully entitled under the law of a province to provide health services in the place in which the services are provided by that person;


« hôpital »

“hospital” includes any facility or portion thereof that provides hospital care, including acute, rehabilitative or chronic care, but does not include

  • (a) a hospital or institution primarily for the mentally disordered, or

  • (b) a facility or portion thereof that provides nursing home intermediate care service or adult residential care service, or comparable services for children;

“hospital services”

« services hospitaliers »

“hospital services” means any of the following services provided to in-patients or out-patients at a hospital, if the services are medically necessary for the purpose of maintaining health, preventing disease or diagnosing or treating an injury, illness or disability, namely,

  • (a) accommodation and meals at the standard or public ward level and preferred accommodation if medically required,

  • (b) nursing service,

  • (c) laboratory, radiological and other diagnostic procedures, together with the necessary interpretations,

  • (d) drugs, biologicals and related preparations when administered in the hospital,

  • (e) use of operating room, case room and anaesthetic facilities, including necessary equipment and supplies,

  • (f) medical and surgical equipment and supplies,

  • (g) use of radiotherapy facilities,

  • (h) use of physiotherapy facilities, and

  • (i) services provided by persons who receive remuneration therefor from the hospital,

but does not include services that are excluded by the regulations;

“insured health services”

« services de santé assurés »

“insured health services” means hospital services, physician services and surgical-dental services provided to insured persons, but does not include any health services that a person is entitled to and eligible for under any other Act of Parliament or under any Act of the legislature of a province that relates to workers' or workmen’s compensation;

“insured person”

« assuré »

“insured person” means, in relation to a province, a resident of the province other than

  • (a) a member of the Canadian Forces,

  • (b[Repealed, 2012, c. 19, s. 377]

  • (c) a person serving a term of imprisonment in a penitentiary as defined in the Penitentiary Act, or

  • (d) a resident of the province who has not completed such minimum period of residence or waiting period, not exceeding three months, as may be required by the province for eligibility for or entitlement to insured health services;

“medical practitioner”

« médecin »

“medical practitioner” means a person lawfully entitled to practise medicine in the place in which the practice is carried on by that person;


« ministre »

“Minister” means the Minister of Health;

“physician services”

« services médicaux »

“physician services” means any medically required services rendered by medical practitioners;


« habitant »

“resident” means, in relation to a province, a person lawfully entitled to be or to remain in Canada who makes his home and is ordinarily present in the province, but does not include a tourist, a transient or a visitor to the province;

“surgical-dental services”

« services de chirurgie dentaire »

“surgical-dental services” means any medically or dentally required surgical-dental procedures performed by a dentist in a hospital, where a hospital is required for the proper performance of the procedures;

“user charge”

« frais modérateurs »

“user charge” means any charge for an insured health service that is authorized or permitted by a provincial health care insurance plan that is not payable, directly or indirectly, by a provincial health care insurance plan, but does not include any charge imposed by extra-billing.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-6, s. 2;
  • 1992, c. 20, s. 216(F);
  • 1995, c. 17, s. 34;
  • 1996, c. 8, s. 32;
  • 1999, c. 26, s. 11;
  • 2012, c. 19, ss. 377, 407.