Dear colleagues, you are welcoming a patient from Canada.
Here is a list of useful information to know in the context of his medical care.
Distance from Paris Ottawa: 5 651 km
36.9 million inhabitants / Average salary: $4,248 per month
Literacy rate: 100% / Life expectancy: 81.9 years
Spoken languages : English and French
● 98% of care costs are covered by public funding.
● Nevertheless, psychiatric care, dental care, out-of-hospital prescription drugs, and home care for chronically dependent patients are only minimally covered.
● Family physicians are rare in Canada. It is common to go to a walk-in clinic for a consultation.
● The Canadian health care system is marked by difficulties in accessing regular care and scheduled interventions.
● There are only 2.2 practicing physicians per 1,000 inhabitants in Canada today, compared to 3.4 in France.
● Patients often have to be referred and then pass a medical questionnaire to access a list of a city doctor.
● The most common pathologies are: Covid-19, hepatitis, rabies, Zika and measles.
● 67% of Canadians speak English, 13% speak French and 17% speak both languages.
● Canadian culture emphasizes the concept of “fairness.”
● Apologizing is a way to address situations in which real or perceived conflict has arisen.
Beliefs, Practices & Rituals
● The Canadian population is predominantly divided between Catholics and Protestants.
● Poor nutrition is the number one risk of death and the second highest risk of disability in Canada.
● To help its population make good food choices, the government publishes “Canada’s Food Guide”, an educational document available in 9 languages.
● The last few years have marked a shift in the eating habits of Canadians: lunch was generally eaten “on the go” (30-minute break on average).
Pregnancy and motherhood
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● Catholic Canadians may want a priest to anoint the sick when they are dying. Protestant Canadians might want a minister or church members to visit the patient.
● Catholics see death as the passage from this life to eternal life in heaven.
● Life-extending treatments may be more difficult to accept if they cause great fatigue and if attempts to preserve life seem futile.
● Euthanasia, or medical aid in dying, is possible in some cases in Canada, but is rarely considered. Pain medication may be offered as long as the intention is to provide comfort.
● In Canada, consent for organ donation is explicit. Individuals can make their choice to become a donor known, through a registry, health insurance card or driver’s license. When the choice has not been expressed, the family can decide.
Examples of Cases Encountered
This section allows us to share real-life experiences. Please feel free to share yours with the community.
● Cleveland Clinic - Diversity toolkit
● Canada.ca - Medical aid in dying
● Cairn.info : The health care system in Canada