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Health care Facilities

Health care Facilities in Canada

Each citizen and permanent resident of Canada is entitled to health insurance. The health insurance system has been established by the Government of Canada as a response to the various health needs for the people of Canada. It’s not based on the payment ability of the Canadian people and it offers the same benefits to everyone irrespective of their capacity to pay for it. The health care system ensures that every resident of Canada has favorable access to doctors and hospitals to attend to their health care needs.

The health care program in Canada is not set as a single national plan; instead it’s been categorized in different plans serving the provincial and territorial levels. The plans differ in their form and structure, but they maintain a common standard of features. The health care system runs under provincial and territorial administration and is financed by the taxes accumulated from the provinces and the territories.

Public health insurance

All citizens and permanent residents of Canada are eligible to apply for health insurance and the best part is that there won’t be any requirement for them to pay for the health care services provided. The entire health care system is funded by the tax paid by the people of the country. The system has made healthcare an easy affair in the country. If you’re a citizen or a resident of Canada and need any medical help, then Canada health care system is for you. You just need to show your health insurance card at the medical clinic or the hospital and will be looked after by the medical staff.

The norms guarding the Health insurance vary for every province and territory. The health care you are getting in one particular province or territory might not be the same in another province or territory. Therefore, if you’re traveling, then it is really important to check the coverage. The need for a private health insurance might arise at any point in time for visitors.

Applying for a public health insurance

It’s very important to apply for the health insurance card after your arrive in Canada. The application should be made to the provincial government of the province or the territory.

The application form is available online on the official site of the health ministry administering the province or the territory. The forms are also available at an immigrant-serving organization, any hospital, doctor’s office or a pharmacy.

Necessary Documents

You are required to present a few documents to provide your identification. It can be a passport, birth certificate, Permanent Resident Card or even the Confirmation of Permanent Residence form (IMM 5292).

Receipt

After you have successfully applied for a health insurance card, it will be issued and mailed to you. The process is different for each province and territory. For instance, in Manitoba, the health insurance cards are assigned only to the adult members of the family, but for most of the provinces and territories, every family member receives individual cards bearing their name and their personal ID number. The card generally has the name, address, birth date and gender of the card holder. Whenever you or any of your family members needs medical help, show the assigned card at the clinic, hospital or the doctor’s office.

Waiting Period for health insurance coverage

After you arrive in Canada, you might have to wait for some time to be eligible to apply for the health insurance card. Firstly, you must decide on the province or territory to select for settlement. While you are waiting, it is recommended to temporarily get private health insurance.

You can find the names and numbers of private insurance companies listed in the telephone books such as yellow pages or by doing an internet search. It’s best to get the private health insurance within 5 days of your arrival in the country, otherwise the insurance company might deny you the coverage.

In case of refugee claimants, resettled refugees, and other special cases, there is an option for coverage of provincial or territorial health insurance on a temporary basis. This coverage ensures health care coverage at no extra cost directly from the Interim Federal Health Program. Check your eligibility at Interim Federal Health Program: Summary of benefits.

Private health insurance

The private health care insurance providers offer additional coverage which is not generally offered by the provincial and territorial insurance plan. These include room charges in private hospitals, cost of prescription drugs, dental cost, dental care, prescription eyeglasses and ambulance services. There is also an option where your employer has the opportunity to pay for any additional medical expenses from your paycheck.

To know more, browse through the list of private health insurance companies.

Never lose or share your card

It’s mandatory that you don’t share your health card with anyone. The card is meant for your use only. You might lose the benefits you’re entitled to if someone else uses your card. There can also be extreme consequences, where you can be charged for a criminal offence and might have to leave Canada. In case you have lost your card, replace it as soon as possible, there will be a fee for replacing your card.

Additional information

To get more information related to provincial and territorial ministries of health, visit the following links:

Check out the Health Care System website for additional information on procedures of getting a health card and health insurance coverage details in each province and territory.

Brochures on a variety of topics are also available from doctors’ offices, pharmacies and Health Canada

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