This paper analyses recent health reform agenda in Canada. From 1988 until 1997, the first phase of reforms focused on service integration through regionalisation and a rebalancing of services from illness care to prevention and wellness. The second phase, which has been layered onto the ongoing first phase, is concerned with fiscal sustainability from a provincial perspective, and the fundamental nature of the system from a national perspective. Despite numerous commissions and studies, some questions remain concerning the future direction of the public system. The Canadian reform experience is compared with recent Australian health reform initiatives in terms of service integration through regionalisation, primary care reform, Aboriginal health, the public-private debate, intergovernmental relations and the role of the federal government.