Healthcare in Ottawa



Expatriates should remember that in addition to clothes, one must also pack a general knowledge of how healthcare works in one’s chosen destination. Rest assured that the clean and green capital city of Canada offers exemplary healthcare.

Canada's public healthcare system's main aim is to provide mostly free and good quality healthcare equally to its residents. The Federal government's main role in healthcare provision is basically to provide finance and to ensure the quality of care based on the Canada Health Act. Health coverage is free of charge for permanent residents; however this only applies to ‘medically necessary' treatments. Any treatment for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons is not part of the coverage.

To qualify for coverage under the public healthcare system, one must have a permanent resident status in the city. Some refugees can also be granted permanent residency status. But bear in mind that you should have a residency of at least three months (even with a permanent resident visa) before you can be eligible for public healthcare. 

Requirements to apply would include your Canadian Immigration Identification Card, your permanent resident card, and a Record of Landing (IMM 1000 Form).

Once your application has been granted, a health card will be issued by the Provincial Ministry of Health to each person. There is only one basic healthcare plan which extensively covers your health needs, including maternity and infertility problems.

Dental and vision care may not always be covered, but some employers do provide additional or supplementary coverage on this. Pharmaceutical needs on the other hand are only covered through public health insurance for elderly residents and indigents.

Some expatriates either receive additional coverage through their employers or opt to purchase international healthcare insurance.

Public healthcare in Ottawa is administered by OPH or Ottawa Public Health, the city arm of the federal government responsible for delivering public health services.

The department coordinates and works with individuals as well as families, communities, and even companies to ensure the protection of public health, to promote health programs, and to encourage and advertise preventive health initiatives. 

Healthcare facilities, aside from being top-notch, are also easily accessible. Ottawa happens to have a number of both public and private hospitals. Stand-alone clinics are also scattered around the city. In the eastern districts, you can find the Rideau Friel Medical and Sandy Hill Community Health Centre while the western area has the Appletree Medical Centre, the Elgin Family Medical Centre and the Kent Family Medicine Centre. 

For a more comprehensive listing of healthcare facilities in the city, you may access the Ottawa Online Services website.


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Healthcare in Canada