Canada's universal health care system is among the best and lowest-cost of all industrialized countries. A 2009 Harris/Decima poll found 82 per cent of Canadians preferred their health care system to the one in the U.S. Notably, the cost of our statutory and employer-sponsored benefits is quite reasonable:
- Our payroll taxes are the lowest of all G7 countries.
- Employer-paid health benefits as a percentage of workers' gross pay are about 22 per cent of what they are in the U.S. (2.1 per cent in Canada versus 9.6 per cent in U.S.).
- Employee benefits are lower in Canada than in the U.S.
- Total payments for Canadian statutory and other benefits are 25.6 per cent of salary and wages, compared to 34.2 per cent in the U.S.
Lower medical insurance premiums are a major reason for this distinct Canadian advantage.
The Manitoba government strongly supports the practice of prevention of illness as being more physically beneficial and more cost-effective than long-term medical care. That’s why health care providers in Manitoba direct much of their attention to proactive measures that promote good health. However, when medical care is required, the No. 1 task for Manitoba Health is to ensure that the most up-to-date medical services are available when and where needed.