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Life in Canada

Overview of the Canadian Healthcare System

Austin Campbell

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Canadian Healthcare System

There is always a lot to plan and think about when immigrating to a country like Canada. You need to get a place to live, a job for financial security, and other basic amenities to survive. One of the most important aspects of life in Canada is learning about the Canadian healthcare system. So, by the time you immigrate to Canada, you and your family find themselves medically covered.

However, finding out how the system works, and what it offers to immigrants is a bit complex. Therefore, we have gathered all the important information regarding the Canadian healthcare system. Read on to find out how you can access healthcare as a newcomer to Canada.

Canada’s Universal Healthcare system – How it works?

A universal healthcare services system is one of the many benefits people connect with immigrating to Canada. Essentially, anyone who is a Canadian resident or permanent resident can apply for public healthcare coverage. In addition, the taxpayers of the country fund the Canadian healthcare system. However, how you access medical care and services in Canada will depend on the province you live in.

How can a Newcomer Access the Healthcare System in Canada?


Any individual who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident is able to apply. However, Immigrants need to submit an application to their provincial or territorial government to access public health insurance in Canada.

How Much Time Does It Take to Get Healthcare Coverage in Canada?

Every Canadian province and territory chooses its own time period. In certain provinces, you can get health coverage as soon as you show up in Canada. While in others, you may need to hang tight for as long as 90 days. But to be on the safe side, the Canadian government suggests investing in private health insurance so you do not have to wait to get healthcare coverage in Canada.

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What is the Eligibility to Get Free Healthcare in Canada?

You can get free healthcare as a newcomer if your living status in a territory or province is a minimum of 183 days out of a year. But to know, universal healthcare covers the following groups:


If you aren’t a citizen or a permanent resident, you need to work or study in Canada for at least six months before you can apply for healthcare.

What does Canadian healthcare cover?

If you get access to a healthcare card, most medical services and healthcare benefits are free of charge. For example, Ontario covers the following free services for newcomers;

  • family doctor appointments
  • visits to walk-in clinics and other healthcare providers
  • visits to the emergency room, surgeries, and medical tests.

What’s more, universal medical care covers psychological wellness therapies from a psychiatrist inside an emergency clinic.

Pros and Cons of the Canadian Healthcare System

Approaching a basic level of healthcare coverage is one of the world-class benefits of living in Canada. However, it doesn’t mean the medical care framework has no flaws. There are many advantages and disadvantages to the Canadian healthcare system.

Pros
1. Universal healthcare access
2. Specialized services
3. Healthcare awareness programs
Cons
1. Long wait times
2. Non-availability in rural areas
3. Lack of special programs (For example, Dental)

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