How do you obtain medical services?
are available from hospitals, doctors and other health care providers.
Persons without health insurance coverage are charged directly for these
services. Insurance coverage for essential medical services is available
to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Each person carries a
personal health card which must be shown at the reception desk of the
doctor or hospital. Each province has its own particular requirements to
obtain a health insurance card so it is important to contact a provincial
ministry of health office in the province you reside.
How do you get a health card?
You can apply
for a health card at the provincial ministry of health office in your
city. You will find the address in the provincial government listings in
your telephone book. Take with you your birth certificate, Canada
Immigration visa (Record of Landing) and passport. Some provinces also
request further documentation showing your name and address and your
of your family must have their own coverage. Take their documents with
you, and ask the government officer for information about registering
Who is eligible to receive a
citizens and permanent residents are eligible in all provinces. Certain
persons in Canada for a temporary period of time (e.g., temporary workers,
holders of a Minister's permit, foreign students, and refugees whose
status has been confirmed by the Immigration Refugee Board) are also
eligible in some provinces. Essential health care services are available
to refugee claimants through the Interim Federal Health Program at
Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
How soon are you eligible?
residents are eligible immediately, except in British Columbia, Ontario
and New Brunswick where there is a three-month waiting period. Persons in
Canada temporarily and holding Immigration Canada documentation (e.g.,
temporary workers, holders of a Minister's permit and foreign students)
have different waiting periods, depending on the province. For more
information, contact the provincial ministry of health.
Is your health card accepted
residents, your health card is primarily for use in the province you live
in. if you move to another province, reapply as soon as possible. There
are waiting periods before you can be covered, although you are covered by
the health plan of the province you left for a certain amount of time. If
you are visiting another province, your card can be used in an emergency.
Residents residing in a province for a temporary period should contact the
provincial health insurance plan office in the province, of permanent
residence for further clarification concerning their coverage throughout
How are medical services paid
services are paid for by various tax measures. Basic hospital charges and
doctors' fees are covered. Two provinces charge premiums (British Columbia
and Alberta). In general, insured services are provided on a prepaid
basis, i.e. provincial plans pay the hospital or doctor directly for
services they provide to eligible residents.
What medical services are NOT
not pay for services that are medically unnecessary, such as cosmetic
surgery. Some provinces provide coverage for non-medical service coverage,
such as prescription drugs and assistive devices. These may require a
co-payment by the patient.