“We recommend you make sure you are covered for healthcare at all times in Canada. This section provides information on the Canadian health system, Canadian doctors, hospitals and medical treatment. Things may not work the same way as at home – get informed in case you get ill”
In Canada, the health system is public. It aims to serve everyone equally and it is governed by the Canada Health Act. While the federal government provides financial support for the health system, the delivery of the health care services is managed by provincial governments
Health care in Canada is free of charge to permanent residents for ‘medically necessary’ treatments. However, most medications required for treatment have to be paid for. If a treatment is deemed not to be medically necessary (such as elective cosmetic surgery), this is not covered by the public system. A large proportion of Canadians has employment or other health plans that cover part or all of the costs of the medicines required for treatment.
Canada’s public health system means that health care services are provided to everyone equally.
Eligibility and Conditions
In order to be eligible for health care treatment and services in Canada, you must have a permanent resident status. Some refugees are allowed permanent resident status while in Canada and they are eligible for health care.
Keep in mind that there is a 3-month period after the arrival in Canada (if arriving as a permanent resident) before you are eligible for health care. You should purchase private health insurance for that three-month period.
In order to apply for health card in Canada, you will need three of the following:
For Permanent Residents / Landed Immigrants:
- Canadian Immigration Identification Card
- Confirmation of permanent residence (IMM 5292 Form)
- Permanent Resident Card
- Record of Landing (IMM 1000 Form)
- For Other Immigration
For Stateless Persons
- Letter from Immigration and Refugee Board confirming Convention Refugee or Protected Person status
- Protected Person status document
- Temporary Resident Permit (restrictions apply)
- Work Permit (restrictions apply)
- Written confirmation from Citizenship and Immigration Canada that you have applied for permanent residence in Canada and have passed the immigration medical exam
- Your passport and landed immigrant papers / permanent resident card.
For province specific regulations, visit the Health Canada website .
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