At a Glance - Canada

Family physician in patient consultation

Fraser Clarke

It can be difficult to know where to start when planning a move overseas, especially if you aren’t fully sure where your future could lie. 

That’s why our latest Odyssey Exclusive series ‘At a Glance’ will help provide you with a quick overview of each location we work with, to help you decide if a move to the country could be worth pursuing.

Article Three - Canada

Where is it?

Canada is located just over 3,800 miles from London - across the Atlantic Ocean, bordering the USA to the South and Alaska and Greenland to the North.

The country is vast, and at more than 9.98 million km² it’s second only to Russia in terms of size. Despite this, the population is small and focused mainly around the major cities - with smaller rural towns scattered throughout the various provinces.

Travel time is something you’ll need to adapt to, with the Canadian perspective of distance somewhat different to that in Britain. Expect a ‘short drive’ to last up to three hours!

How is Healthcare Structured?

The Canadian Healthcare system is similar to Britain’s National Health Service. A portion of the budget is provided by the national government, with a further payment being made by an employer or employee - in a similar way to the UK’s National Insurance system. 

Unlike in the UK however further funding is provided by the federal government. This combined approach ensures that the contributions from citizens can be lower than it is in the United Kingdom, despite the total funding actually being greater.

Whilst this is a noticeable difference between healthcare in Canada and the UK, it’s not the only one. In Canada all healthcare providers are private, this means that (unlike 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.

This results in a healthcare system which is far more successful than many others, especially the United States’ which demands a far greater amount of funding.

What will I need?

The criteria will change on a job-by-job basis, but most employers will look for the following:

  • A medical degree from a WHO approved medical school
  • Completion of a Western residency programme
  • Board certification from a Western country: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, South Africa etc
  • Eligibility for registration with the Canadian college in your area
  • Fluency in English (and, in some areas, French) 

What are the positives?

  • A welcoming and friendly local population
  • High quality medical facilities
  • A safe environment, and very low crime rate
  • Little culture shock for Westerners
  • Stunning scenery

What are the negatives?

  • The distances make travelling time-consuming
  • The cost of living can be high
  • Extreme weather conditions - especially in Winter
  • Wages aren’t tax-free, and so a move to the Gulf is more financially rewarding

Current Opportunities

We’ve got a couple of openings in Canada at the moment

Consultant Internist