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One of the most important things when going abroad is to make sure that you are covered in case of accidents or illness. Therefore, it is very important to have information about hospitals, doctors, pharmacies and health care insurance, when you are coming to Canada

Each major city in Canada possesses one or more hospitals. Generally each hospital has an emergency room. Hospital admission for emergencies is based on the priority of emergency and the availability of space and staff for treatment.

Sometimes, if one hospital doesn't have the available space for treatment, the patient could be taken to another hospital for emergency or other treatment. To access hospital services you must possess a health card.

Health System in Canada
In Canada, the health system is public. This system tries to serve everyone equally and it is directed by the Canada Health Act. While the federal government offers financial support for the health system, the distribution of the health care services is managed by provincial governments.

Health Insurance Cards
People can be eligible for health care treatment and services in Canada, if they have a permanent residence status. Some refugees are permitted permanent resident status while in Canada and they are eligible for health care.

Medical Treatment
In Canada, there are different kinds of doctors, from general practitioners (GP) and Family Doctors to specialists such as cardiologists, dermatologists, dentists, etc.

Hospitals and Clinics of Canada
Most of public hospitals in Canada have the most advanced technology to provide highly specialized services.

Emergency Numbers

You can find the most important Emergency Numbers:
  • For emergencies, call 911 and request an ambulance. Always call an ambulance in the case of a medical emergency, regardless of your health cover situation.
  • Ambulance 961.
  • Emergency Hospital 962.
  • Fire 981.
  • Police 955.
  • In Ontario, there is a telephone helpline for health issues called TeleHealth: 1 866 797 0000.
  • Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous 962-8700.
  • Drug Helpline 1-800-567-3784.
  • Sexual Assault Support Crisis Line 967-6000.
  • Poison Control Centre 1-800-267-1373.
Please note: A new number has been confirmed for ALL emergency services (ambulance, emergency hospital, fire department, police) 112.

If you need help and have an emergency while travelling outside of Canada, Toll free in Canada 1-888-772-2583.

For non-emergencies: you generally need to be referred by your physician (GP) to the pertinent hospital department.

More information: Health Canada

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