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Health Care

Before You Arrive

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Canada’s public health care system

Canada’s health insurance system is set up to respond to people’s need for health care rather than their ability to pay for it. Often referred to as medicare, the system is designed to make sure that all residents of Canada have reasonable access to health care from doctors and hospitals.

Instead of having a single national plan, Canada’s health care program is made up of provincial and territorial health insurance plans, all of which share certain common features and standards.

Health insurance

All Canadians and permanent residents may apply for health insurance. When you have health insurance you do not have to pay directly for most health-care services. They are paid for through your taxes. When you use health-care services, you simply show your health insurance card to the hospital or medical clinic.

Learn more about the Canadian medicare system.

Find out more about health insurance and how to apply for it.


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