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How to access healthcare In Canada. Healthcare for newcomers

Navigating the intricacies of the Canadian healthcare system can often present a challenge for newcomers. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify the process, providing vital information for both temporary and permanent residents on securing medical services and understanding the operational framework of healthcare in Canada.

Deciphering Canada’s Healthcare System

The cornerstone of Canada’s healthcare system lies in its public funding and provincial management. This structure ensures that coverage and access to services are tailored to the unique needs of each province, with residency status playing a pivotal role in determining eligibility.

Healthcare Provisions for Temporary Residents

Lacking eligibility for provincial healthcare coverage, visitors to Canada are advised to secure medical insurance to safeguard against emergency medical expenses during their stay.


Student temporary residents typically benefit from private insurance, often integrated into tuition fees, which provides coverage for a range of medical services.


In Ontario, temporary workers may be eligible for an OHIP card, contingent upon:

– Engagement in full-time employment (minimum of 30 hours weekly).

– Occupying a permanent job position with a duration of at least six months.

Prospective OHIP cardholders must furnish either a job contract or an employer-issued letter confirming their employment status. It is crucial to note the three-month waiting period preceding the commencement of OHIP coverage, during which temporary medical insurance is highly recommended.

Healthcare for Permanent Residents

Permanent residents in Ontario are entitled to OHIP coverage, independent of employment status. The application process involves visiting a Service Ontario center with proof of residence, such as a utility bill. Similar to temporary workers, there is a three-month waiting period for OHIP coverage activation, suggesting the need for temporary medical insurance during this interim.

Medical Service Accessibility

Post-coverage by OHIP, residents are entitled to free consultations with most physicians and specialists. However, doctor shortages may lead to appointment delays. Healthcare Connect, a program assisting in family doctor allocation, proves invaluable, especially for permanent residents, and can be arranged prior to Canadian arrival.

For individuals with supplementary medical insurance via their employer, it is imperative to recognize that such benefits are contingent upon the possession of an OHIP card.

A thorough understanding and navigation of the Canadian healthcare system necessitate cognizance of one’s residency status and the requisite steps for securing suitable coverage. While temporary residents typically depend on private insurance initially, permanent residents must register for provincial healthcare which may also necessitate temporary insurance during the waiting period. Given potential delays in accessing medical services, engagement with programs like Healthcare Connect is instrumental in ensuring uninterrupted and comprehensive care.

Let Worldbridge Immigration Services be your guide to a successful future in Canada 

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Phone/WhatsApp: +1-416-727-7766

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Worldbridge Immigration Services

At Worldbridge Immigration Services, we help people navigate the Canadian Immigration process.


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