Medical Services for
Newcomers to Canada
Canada has a public health
care system commonly known as Medicare . This means
that health insurance covering essential medical services is available
to all permanent residents and Canadian citizens.
The Canadian government
sets health-care standards for the whole country while the provincial
ministries of health run the health care system. In general, Medicare
is paid for through taxes. Three provinces (British Columbia, Alberta
and Ontario) however, charge premiums.
get medical services in Canada
Medical services are available
across Canada from hospitals, clinics, doctors and other health-care
providers. When you receive medical services you need to show your
provincial health card . If you do not have a provincial
health card you will need to pay directly for the costs of the services.
Your telephone book lists
doctors and other health-care providers under the headings "Physicians
for a provincial health insurance card in Canada
Who is eligible for a
Canadian health insurance card?
- All Canadian citizens
- All permanent residents
In some provinces temporary
workers, students and some others in Canada on a temporary basis
are also eligible.
Those claiming refugee status
who are needy or living in a province with a three-month eligibility
waiting period can get emergency or essential health-care services
through the Interim
Federal Health Program at Citizenship and Immigration Canada
How to apply for a health
insurance card in Canada
To apply for a health insurance card
you will need to apply to the ministry
of health in the province or territory where you live. You
can get an application form from the provincial ministry of health,
or in any doctor's office, hospital or pharmacy. Apply for your
health insurance card as soon as possible after arriving in Canada.
You will need to show your
birth certificate, Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292)
and passport. You may also show your Permanent Resident Card. You
may need to provide other documents showing your name, address and
Please note that
everyone in your family needs their own provincial health insurance
card. Take their documents with you to the ministry of health office
and ask about registering them .
When will your Canadian
health insurance coverage begin?
In most provinces you will
receive coverage as soon as you apply.
Four provinces however, have
a waiting period before you are eligible for a health card.
In British Columbia,
Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick there is a three-month eligibility
waiting period before your coverage begins.
Please note that
during the eligibility waiting period, you should buy private health
insurance. Vancouver English Centre students can buy VEC
Rules for temporary workers,
students or other visitors also vary from province to province.
of health in your province for more information.
services covered by Medicare
Health-care services covered
by Medicare include:
- Examination and treatment by family doctors;
- Many types of surgery;
- Most treatments by specialists;
- Hospital care;
- Many laboratory tests; and
- Most immunizations.
services not covered by Medicare
Your public health insurance will
only pay for essential or medically necessary services.
Health-care services not
covered by Medicare, and for which you will have to pay include:
- Ambulance services
- Prescription drugs
- Dental care
- Glasses and contact lenses
These services are sometimes
covered by workplace benefits packages.
Some provinces do pay for
non-medical services, such as prescription drugs. In some cases,
both you and your province will pay a portion of the total cost.
or moving to a new province in Canada
Your health card is mainly
for use in the province where you live. If you are visiting another
province, your card can be used in an emergency.
If you are moving permanently
to another province, reapply for a new provincial health card as
soon as possible. There are waiting periods before your coverage
begins in your new province, although the province you left will
continue to provide coverage for a limited period of time.
If you are going to reside
in a different province for a temporary period of time you should
contact the provincial ministry of health office in your home province
before you leave.
More Information About Studying in Canada
Online English Test.
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Schools in Canada.
Schools in Montreal.
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Ingles en Canada.
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Canadian Visas & Immigration
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& Immigration Canada Terms.
Application Procedures - Sao Paulo Brazil.
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