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15 Expats Talk about Health Insurance and Healthcare in Canada

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By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Nov 23, 2023

Summary: The quality of medical care in Canada is generally considered to be on par with the United States. Canada has a publicly funded healthcare system, which means that all citizens have access to basic medical services at no cost. Emergency services in Canada are generally reliable and efficient. In the event of an emergency, you can call 911 for an ambulance.

How are healthcare services Canada?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Canada, they replied:

"We're not permanent residents of Canada, but healthcare is available to us here in BC. We're in our early 60s. My husband works full-time and I'm in school full-time. We purchased a Canadian health insurance policy for $75 per month that covers everything medical. Supplemental dental and vision plans are also easily available. The problem here in BC, and all over Canada, is the lack of doctors. We don't have our own and none of the doctors in town are taking new patients. We have to go to the clinic to receive care, which involves arriving early, getting on the list and then coming back at the appointed time. It's a bit of a hassle but the care is available. For emergencies, we would go to the new hospital. Health care in Canada is not what people think it is. There are long wait times for tests, sometimes several months. The system isn't working well for serious health issues and those with private insurance feel that they are entitled to queue jump for faster testing. That's prohibited. As a result, there is a law suit headed to the Supreme Court. The federal government and BC argue that if the privately insured can get faster testing, the wealthy will have an advantage over the rest of Canadians. Those with private insurance argue that denying them faster testing violates their Constitutional right to life and liberty. It's a complicated situation. But for small medical problems like strep throat or a broken bone, the system is manageable. Not great, but same-day service here on Vancouver Island," mentioned one expat in Canada.

"Healthcare services in Canada are provided by both public and private institutions. The public healthcare system is funded by the federal, provincial, and territorial governments and is available to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents. It covers a wide range of services, including hospital care, physician services, diagnostic services, and prescription drugs. The quality of public healthcare in Canada is generally considered to be high, with access to a wide range of services and treatments. Foreign residents may also have access to the public healthcare system, depending on their immigration status. Expats in Canada may be eligible for public healthcare coverage if they are permanent residents, have a valid work permit, or are a refugee claimant. In some cases, expats may also be able to purchase private health insurance to supplement their public coverage," commented one expat who moved to Canada.

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What are medical services in Canada like?

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Allianz Care

Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.

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Allianz Care

Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.

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Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.

Allianz CareAllianz Care

Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.
Get Quote

Answer Question & View More Answers

Allianz Care

Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.

Learn MoreGet Quote

Allianz Care

Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.

Learn MoreGet Quote

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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