Health Care

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B.C. HEALTH INSURANCE :-  B.C. government has a hospital insurance and a
      medical Insurance plan. These plans are for British Columbia residents only.

Canadian citizens, landed immigrants and conventin refugees are all eligible.

REGISTERING FOR HEALTH INSURANCE :-  you do not need to register or
pay for hospital insurance. To receive insurance through the Medical Services
Plan ( MSP), for medical services including doctors’ fees, you must register. If

you don’t , you will have to pay for these services yourself, which may be very high.

To register for medical insurance, call383-7151 ( in Vancouver ), 386-7171

( in Victoria ) and 1-800-663-7100 ( elsewhere in B.C.).

Even after registering, you will not get insurance protection immediately, you will

need to complete a waiting period that includes the rest of the month in which you

became a residentof B.C., plus two months. You should get temporary insurance

from a private insurance company for the waiting period. When your MSP

coverage begins, everyone in your family will get a “Care Card” with the person’s

name and a personal health number. Sign your card and always take it with

you when you visit a doctor or hospital.

HEALTH INSURANC E FEES :-  MSP insurance coverage is not free. You
must pay a monthly fee, which varies if you are a single person or a family

of two or a family of three or more.

Some government-sponsored refugees are eligible for free MSP coverage.

But if you have a job, your payments may be taken off your pay cheque for the

coverage. You do not have to pay for hospital costs if you are a permanent

resident. If you are a refugee Claimant, you must get the “Interim Federal Health”

paper form the Citizenship and Immigration Canada office to go to a hospital.

The Canadian government will pay the hospital costs.

If you call an ambulance to go to the hospital, in case of an emergency, you will

have to Pay for it. The MSP will not pay for an ambulance.

       There are two types of doctors in B.C. (a) family doctors, and (b) specialists. Family doctors

        take care of most medical problems, whereas the specialists treat special health problems.

        e.g. heart disease. Family doctor may refer you to a specialist if needed.

       To find a family doctor, you may ask your friend or contact an immigrant settlement agency.

       Some hospital may have a list of doctors who are taking new patients. Or simply look in the

       Yellow Pages under “Physicians and Surgeons.”

       MSP will not for regular dental services. If you have a job, your employer may have a dental

       plan that you can join. Some public health units have dental clinics. They give free dental

       check ups and cleanings to young children and low-cost dental care to older children and

       adults. To find a dental clinic in your area, look in the Blue Pages under “Dental Clinics” in

       the Cities and Municipalities Section.

You must have a doctor’s prescription to buy prescription drugs at a pharmacy. You can

However, buy some drugs without a prescription. Such drugs are called “Non-prescription


     It is a B.C. government program. It may return some of the money you paid for

Prescription drugs you bought in B.C. For more information, call 682-6849 ( in Vancouver),

952-2866 ( in Victoria ) and 1-800-554-0250 ( elsewhere in B.C.).

           Many communities have public health units. These are medical offices where community

       health nurses and doctors give free health care information to families. In case of a serious

       health problem, public health nurses may be able to help you in your own home. They can

       also help women prepare for a new baby and visit them at home after the baby is born and

      give immunizations to babies and children for polio, measles etc. For more information about

      the health unit in your area, look in the Blue Pages for the “Health Authorities” section.