Global Healthcare Sectors | Canada


Fraser Clarke

Following the success of our Global Healthcare Issues series we’re pleased to bring you the second installment of our new series - Global Healthcare Sectors.

In this exclusive series we will guide you through the structure behind the healthcare sectors we most frequently deal with. We’ll look at the private and public areas, what positions are especially in demand, the funding models, and how to go about successfully securing a move.


In part two of this series we’ll look at one of the most popular locations with medical professionals escaping from the NHS in search of a more rewarding and enjoyable life - Canada.

Canada has long been attracting skilled immigrants from all over the world, with the promise of a more relaxed lifestyle, better salary package and friendly environment. It’s no different today, with our recent Twitter poll finding it to be the most desirable location for Medics to move to.

Where am I likely to work?

Canada is a vast country, the world’s second largest by land mass, and this makes it far more difficult to pinpoint potential areas of employment. The country’s vast size isn’t matched by its population (which is just 36 million), this means that many jobs can be in rural, or semi-rural environments.

If you are considering moving to Canada you will often start by working in areas where there is a shortage of staff. This usually means fairly rural areas, surrounded by natural beauty, with Newfoundland being the most common. It can be a hugely rewarding place to work, with a friendly and close population and all the facilities you would expect to find in larger cities - just slightly more spread out.

Often jobs are in small rural hospitals, many of around 50 beds, these can be the ideal place to get settled into Canadian life.

What Sector will I be working in?

Healthcare in Canada is unique in that it is run on a ‘public over profit basis’ by private providers. This means that (unlike in the UK) pay for medics is not determined countrywide. Doctors also claim directly to the insurer when people use the country's healthcare system (known as Medicare) to cover the costs.

So, to answer the title, you’ll more than likely be working in a hybrid of both public and private!

How Generous is Healthcare Spending?

The unique structure helps to make the Canadian healthcare system one of the most efficiently funded in the world. Although this is also down to intelligent use and allocation of funding. Advertising of the system is sparse, whilst patients are charged for prescriptions and long term care, with all the money received and saved being diverted back into the system.

This results in a healthcare system which is far more successful than many other similar countries, especially America which also demands a far greater amount of funding.

Currently the USA spends around 17.4% of its total GDP on healthcare, whereas in Canada this statistic is 11.2%. Despite this Canada can boast a lower infant mortality rate (5/1000 compared with 6.1/1000) and a higher life expectancy of 81.24 years compared with the 78.74 in the United States. These statistics are testament to the success of the Canadian Healthcare system, and its funding model.

What Will I Need?

If a move to Canada is something that you are seriously considering then there are a range of criteria you will need to meet. All employers will seek Western specialist qualifications, with suitable Western board accreditation, along with a minimum of 3 years experience following your qualification.

Fluency in English is essential, whilst speaking French will also be looked upon extremely favourably given it is the country’s second most widely spoken language. Some sort of knowledge of the language could give you the edge in getting the job you are aiming for.

Salary packages can vary depending on your role, location, experience and work ethic. Most employers will offer the medics the option of either a fee for service or salaried package, with the majority of new arrivals transferring to fee-for-service after they have settled into the country to maximise their earnings.

The cost of living in Canada is lower than it is in the United Kingdom, with only utility bills likely to cost more due to the country’s harsh winter climate.

Who is Especially in Demand?

Canada has such a diverse range of health issues that most specialities are often in demand. This is a factor that is exemplified in the four jobs we currently have available on our website - we’re looking for a Consultant Ophthalmologist, Anaesthetist, General Surgeon and Internist.

Addiction psychiatrists and radiation oncologists are two specialties which look set to grow in demand in the near future, whilst we’ve noticed a growing number of GP jobs becoming available.

Regardless of your speciality there’s likely to be a role in Canada that suits you. For job alerts simply register on our website today.

Start your journey today by registering on our website.