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Healthcare In Canada

by Dave Lympany

Copyright 2005

Healthcare in Canada is a vital subject for anyone moving to or

residing in Canada. The Federal Government does provide some

funding from the taxpayer for the health system, however, each

Province is individually responsible for its own Healthcare


There is a basic free system (Alberta, BC and Ontario charge

the residents a healthcare tax or premium to pay for this!)

that every legal resident and citizen of Canada is entitled to

which includes access to a family doctor and most hospital

treatment (definitely emergency care). This is governed by the

Canada Health Act (1984) which lays down the basic entitlements

of free coverage. Prescription drugs and supplies are provided

in the hospitals in most cases as long as you remain an in


The costs start to mount up for prescription drugs and medical

supplies when you are not in hospital. Drugs are bought from

the pharmacy at the standard cost which for specialist drugs

can run into hundreds of dollars for one course of treatment.

Other medical services will probably not be covered such as

Physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment and massage therapy.

Custom made medical supplies such as knee braces or orthotics

can cost over a thousand dollars to purchase in some instances.

The amount of coverage and standard of Healthcare in Canada is

described in detail on the main Government site but does vary

between Provinces however.

Each Province also has its own regulations for the

practitioner’s qualifications and even nurses will have to

recertify if they move between Provinces. This does cause

confusion to new migrants to Canada as most foreign

qualifications just may not be enough and will most likely

result in some level of retraining. Dental treatment is

normally NOT included in the healthcare system and you will

have to pay for treatment.

Many Canadian employers offer fairly comprehensive benefits

packages that include coverage for Prescription drugs and other

services such as physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment though

this is most often only up to 80% of the cost. As each Province

has different rules for qualifying times to gain access for the

free service ensure you thoroughly research your Province of

choice via the links above.

If your employment doesn't come with coverage or you wish to

improve it you will need to take out a private policy

If you require short term coverage for when you first arrive in

Canada, make sure you have a proper policy (travel insurance may

not be sufficient) and CHECK you are covered.

For detailed information please visit

About The Author: The author immigrated to Canada in 2003 and

has constructed a free information website about Canadian

Immigration based on his family’s experiences.

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