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Canada - Hospitals

Canada has a good reputation for its hospitals and the major cities in the country have a number of different hospitals and clinics which provide every type of treatment. Nearly all the major cities have a children’s hospital in addition to general hospitals and others that you may find include psychiatric clinics, women’s hospitals and other speciality clinics. The general hospitals are usually fairly large and can accommodate hundreds of patients while some of the smaller speciality clinics have less than 100 beds. Most of the general hospitals have an emergency department and all have outpatient clinics dealing with most conditions.

English is the language which is used in the majority of hospitals around the country, apart from Quebec, where the main language is French. However, staff at these hospitals should be able to converse in both languages if required.

In Toronto one of the most famous hospitals is the state-run St Michaels. The hospital used to be a church and became a hospital which was run by nuns when a diphtheria epidemic occurred in the late 19th century. St Michaels began with 26 beds and a staff of 10 but grew very quickly. The hospital has an agreement with the University of Toronto and takes medical students each year. St Michaels now has more than 900 beds and can treat most types of conditions. Also in Toronto is the East General Hospital which serves as a teaching hospital. The facility deals with 20,000 inpatients each year and has an emergency department. There are more than 500 beds in the hospital and almost 3000 people on the staff. East General also has a number of outpatient clinics and community programmes. The hospital is considered to be one of the best in the country.

One of the largest children’s hospitals in the country is in Calgary, Alberta. The Alberta Children’s Hospital is state-run and had a new facility which opened in 2006. It is located close to the university and has an excellent reputation. Also in Alberta is the Alberta Hospital Edmonton. This is a psychiatric hospital which dates back to the 1920s and patients who go there can do so on a voluntary basis, as part of a Forensic Psychiatry Programme or formally having been sectioned under the state’s mental health act.

In British Columbia there is the Women’s Hospital and Health Centre which can be found in Vancouver. This is the largest maternity facility in the country and is one of the main teaching hospitals. The hospital is state-run and has more than 1000 staff. Also in Vancouver is the Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre. This is the second largest hospital in Canada, with a capacity of more than 1900 beds. VHHSC treats more than 115,000 patients each year and has almost 10,000 staff. Vancouver also has a number of private medical facilities. One of these is the Amherst Private Hospital, run by Vancouver Coastal Health. It dates back to the 1960s and has less than 100 beds. In addition the Cambie Surgery Centre is a specialist clinic and offers a range of surgical facilities, dealing with both short stay and long stay patients. There are 7 rooms for overnight stays and a number of recovery rooms. The surgeons specialise in operations using less invasive procedures.

In Winnipeg the Seven Oaks General Hospital is one of the main healthcare facilities and was founded in 1981. The hospital houses a ‘Wellness Institute’ which is designed to promote general good health and well being among both adults and children.

In Nova Scotia, Dartmouth General Hospital is state-run and had 24 hour emergency care facilities as well as outpatient clinics and surgical services. It was founded in 1976 and covers both the Dartmouth and Halifax areas. This hospital is operated by Capital Health.

In the country’s capital the Montfort Hospital stands out as it is a French-speaking hospital, the only francophone facility within Ontario. The staff are all bilingual and the hospital dates back to the 1950s, although there have been recent expansions and there are plenty of modern facilities. The facility serves as a teaching hospital and has outpatient services. Almost half of the province’s French speaking population live within the catchment area of the Montfort Hospital.

Read more about this country

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