Canada Health Care System or How to Get Health Card in Ontario (OHIP)


Before last week I thought, that temporary residents of Canada are not eligible to use Canadian health care system. But few days ago my boss said, that we are eligible. After not so long research I’ve figured out that we’re eligible for Ontario Health Insurance Plan. According to OHIP site, almost all Ontario residents are eligible for provincially funded health coverage (OHIP). To be eligible for Ontario health coverage you must :

  • be a Canadian citizen or have immigration status as set out in Ontario’s Health Insurance Act, and
  • make your permanent and principal home in Ontario, and
  • be physically present in Ontario 153 days in any 12-month period.

OHIP coverage normally becomes effective three months after the date you establish residency in Ontario.

To get OHIP health card, you should should fill application in one of Ontario Ministry of Health Offices. When applying for a new health card, you must bring three original documents to prove citizenship/immigration status, residency in Ontario and identity.

You may be asked for additional documents. For example, if your name has changed you may need to provide a marriage certificate or a change of name certificate.

After filling application and applying to one of Ministry of Health offices, we’ve got our health cards and now we can use Canadian health care system. I was wondering how different this system comparing to xUSSR countries systems. One of most interesting ideas of this system is idea of Family Doctors. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

A general practitioner (GP) or family physician (FP) is a physician/medical doctor who provides primary care. A GP/FP treats acute and chronic illnesses, provides preventive care and health education for all ages and both sexes. Some also care for hospitalized patients, do minor surgery and/or obstetrics. The term general practitioner is common in the United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth countries, where the word “physician” is only used for certain specialists and not for GPs.

Yesterday we’ve got one family doctor for me and my wife in shopping mall near our home. IMHO, this idea of family doctors is much better, than our Ukrainian health care system based on set of polyclinics with huge line-ups. So, maybe, Ukraine will get such or some similar system one day and we’ll be able to have better health care system.