By far the largest government health program is Medicare , which is actually ten provincial programs, such as OHIP in Ontario , that are required to meet the general guidelines laid out in the federal Canada Health Act . Almost all government health spending goes through Medicare , but there are several smaller programs. The federal government directly administers health to groups such as the military, and inmates of federal prisons. They also provide some care to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and veterans, but these groups mostly use the public system. Prior to 1966, Veterans Affairs Canada had a large healthcare network, but this was merged into the general system with the creation of Medicare . The largest group the federal government is directly responsible for is First Nations . Native peoples are a federal responsibility and the federal government guarantees complete coverage of their health needs. For the last twenty years and despite health care being a guaranteed right for First Nations due to the many treaties the government of Canada signed for access to First Nations lands and resources, the amount of coverage provided by the Federal government's Non-Insured Health Benefits program has diminished drastically for optometry, dentistry, and medicines. Status First Nations individuals qualify for a set amount of visits to the optometrist and dentist, with a limited amount of coverage for glasses, eye exams, fillings, root canals, etc. For the most part First Nations people use the normal hospitals and the federal government then fully compensates the provincial government for the expense. The federal government also covers any user fees the province charges. The federal government maintains a network of clinics and health centres on Native Reserves . At the provincial level, there are also several much smaller health programs alongside Medicare . The largest of these is the health care costs paid by the worker's compensation system. Regardless of federal efforts, healthcare for First Nations has generally not been considered effective.