Living in Canada: 4 Things Newcomers Should Know About

Disclaimer:- The application approval for Study Permit, Post Graduation Work Permit, Permanent Residence or any kind of visa is sole discretion of Immigration Refugees and Citizenship of Canada as per their rules and regulations. Also, for other countries, final visa approval and refusal depends upon the high commission of each country.

Living in Canada

Living in Canada: What Newcomers Should Know?

Living in Canada: What Newcomers Should Know?

23 December 2022 landmark
23 December 2022 landmark

Living in Canada is pretty different from what we fathom. It is going to be an exciting journey ahead but so is a roller coaster.

And while you have a world full of opportunities to unveil, you must cater to the most important factor— health. Living in Canada is incomplete without proper knowledge about its healthcare system. 

Another crucial thing to know is that each province has its own health insurance plan. Take a look at some information to facilitate the services. 

1. Provincial health insurance card

As a newcomer, you must apply for a provincial health insurance card to get access to medical services.  The provincial government makes it possible and all you need to do is reach their office and enquire.

There is no online process and therefore, all formalities require to be done in person. There is no single thumb rule concerning documentation as it varies depending on your province. Still, in most cases, all provinces will ask for your-

  • Documents related to your immigration status
  • Government-issued ID
  • Proof of residency

Your provincial health insurance card gets mailed to your address as soon as the verification process ends. Show this card to the healthcare professional each time you visit the hospital. 

2. Medical Services

The best part (among others) about living in Canada is its top-notch healthcare services. Your health card can help you avail of free medical services like telehealth. This includes-

  • Regardless of your territory and province, you are entitled to free medical information and health advice via phone. Registered healthcare professionals are available over phone lines 24×7. All you need to do is dial 811. 
  • These services are addressed using different names depending on the province. For example, it is Health Connect Ontario (formerly known as TeleHealth) in Ontario and Health Links in Manitoba.
  • Keep in mind that these services are solely reserved for advice and information. It is not applicable to prescriptions and diagnoses. 
  • Urgent medical help that requires immediate attention is regarded as an emergency health situation. In this case, you need to drive to the nearest hospital or call 911. 

3. Province-wise Healthcare in Canada

Although the basic healthcare standards and features are similar, there are certain differences in terms of some healthcare coverage details. 

  • Alberta

    • Provincial insurance: Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP)
    • Eligibility: For permanent residents and citizens only; from the date of arrival. 
    • Coverage: dental health services, physician services, hospital stays, and visits (full coverage). Optometry and podiatry services (partial coverage). 
    • Dial 811 for free health advice or visit
  • British Columbia

    • Provincial insurance: Medical Services Plan (MSP)
    • Eligibility: for permanent residents; from three months after arrival. 
    • Coverage: services include orthodontic, chiropractic, naturopathy, acupuncture, physical and massage therapy, eye exams, and non-surgical podiatry. Physicians and midwives are also covered by these services. 
    • Dial 811 for free health advice or visit 
  • Manitoba

    • Provincial insurance: Manitoba Health and Seniors Care 
    • Eligibility: for permanent residents, and for residents in Manitoba who have lived there for more than 6 months (as soon as the third month of arrival begins.)
    • Coverage: surgeries, laboratory and physician services, and surgeries. 
    • Dial 204-788-8200 / 1-888-315-9257 for free health advice or visit
  • New Brunswick

    • Provincial insurance: New Brunswick Medicare and Drug Plans
    • Eligibility: As soon as the application and verification process is concluded, eligibility is established. 
    • Coverage: most hospital services including surgical dental procedures and physician services. 
    • Dial 811 for free health advice or visit Tele-Care.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador

    • Provincial insurance: Medical Care Plan (MCP)
    • Eligibility: Healthcare insurance coverage begins from the date of arrival. 
    • Coverage: Includes radiology interpretive services, physician services, therapeutic, surgical, dental, and diagnostic procedures, maternity care, 
    • Dial 811 for free health advice or visit 811 HealthLine
  • Nunavut

    • Provincial insurance: Nunavut Health Care Plan
    • Eligibility: with the onset of the third month from the date of arrival.
    • Coverage: hospital and physician services. 
  • Ontario

    • Provincial insurance: Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) 
    • Eligibility: Almost with immediate effect. 
    • Coverage: hospital stays and visits, podiatry, optometry dental surgery, surgical or medical abortions, ambulance, and related travel reasons. 
    • Dial 1-866-797-0000 / 1-866-797-0007 for free health advice or visit Telehealth Ontario.
  • Prince Edward Island

    • Provincial insurance: PEI Health Card
    • Eligibility: from the date of arrival.
    • Coverage: screening, diagnosis, treatment, inpatient and outpatient services, childhood immunizations, and disease prevention.
    • Dial 811 for free health advice or visit 811 Telehealth.
  • Québec

    • Provincial insurance: Québec Health Insurance Plan 
    • Eligibility: three months after arrival. 
    • Coverage: medical examinations, procedures, tests, anesthetics, and vasectomy.
    • Dial 811 for free health advice or visit Info-Santé 811.
  • Saskatchewan

    • Provincial insurance:  Saskatchewan Health Cards
    • Eligibility: 6 to 8 weeks after application review and verification. 
    • Coverage: inpatient and outpatient services, mammography, physiotherapy, immunization services, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, and related services.
    • Dial 811 for free health advice or visit HealthLine at 8-1-1

4. Find a family doctor

Among the most important things to know when living in Canada is to rely on a family doctor. This way you will keep up with your condition due to regular health checkups.

A family doctor is a general practitioner who caters to your and your family’s medical needs. Also, they will refer you to the best specialists in your area. Plus, they will advise and update you on all the essential immunization and vaccination required as per province. 


Living in Canada is a dream for so many people in the world. If you have happened to achieve this dream, make sure to make the most out of it by taking care of your and your family’s health.

Contact experts at Landmark Immigration for more updates!

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