Back to homepage QUEBEC



Québec is the largest province in Canada. Its territory represents 15.5 per cent of the surface area of Canada and totals more than 1.5 million km2. Québec shares borders with Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. The province also neighbours on four American states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.

The name Québec was inspired by an Algonquian word meaning “where the river narrows.” The French in New France used it solely to refer to the city of Québec. The British were the first to use the name in a broader sense.

Québec has a provincial charter of human rights (Charte des droits et libertés de la personne), a consumer protection act, a provincial automobile insurance system, and separate income security and family allowance systems. Québec also has a complex network of more than 800 social institutions.

Among them are hospitals, community centres and long-term care facilities for the elderly. Since 1965, an agency of the Québec government has managed Québec’s social benefits programs. Several institutions such as Régie des rentes du Québec, Régie de l’assurance-automobile and Commission à la santé et au bien-être invest their funds in the Caisse de dépôt et de placement du Québec. As of 31 December 2013, the Caisse had $200.1 billion in assets and a four-year annualized return of 10 per cent.

The Caisse de dépôt et de placement is arguably the most important achievement of the 1960s reforms that gave the Québec government a greater role in the province’s economy.


Health system

The health and social services system as we know it was created in 1971 following the adoption of the Act respecting health services and social services (chapter S-4.2) by the National Assembly of Québec.

Québec’s system is a public system, with the State acting as the main insurer and administrator. The population has access to hospital and medical services dispensed by the State through two universal plans :

·       the Hospital Insurance Plan, introduced in 1961;

·       and the Health Insurance Plan, introduced in 1970.

In addition, a number of services are available to specific groups free of charge, provided they meet certain criteria. These include dental services, vision-related services and devices that compensate for physical impairments.

Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec


Tourisme Québec

To find other repertoires related to specific health care in Quebec, see also our page Index in the Tools section


Quebec Touristic Regions

Quebec City
Eastern Townships


Want a sponsored link? Check our membership and partnership section.


Help us to help you better