Canada has an excellent medical system that is considered one of the best in the world. Unlike in the United States and many other countries where people have to pay for their own health insurance, our health insurance is covered by the Government and paid for through our taxes. In other words, every Canadian citizen has a right to free health care.
With that being said, some people need access to health care but do not have a health card. If you are new to Canada or visiting Canada, you might be one of these people. Let’s take a look at how much it costs to visit a doctor in such a case.
How much does it cost to see a Doctor in Canada without Health Insurance?
The cost to see a doctor in Canada without health insurance can vary greatly from province to province. In Alberta, for example, a visit to the doctor’s office without a health card can cost anywhere from $60 (for Canadian residents without a card) up to $120 (for visitors to Canada). In Ontario, you should expect to pay anywhere from $80 to $100 per doctor visit.
It’s important to keep in, however, that this is just the base fee to see the doctor. If you need any additional services, you will also have to pay for these out of pocket.
Other things you may need to pay for include medications or treatments, notes, chart copies, medical forms, certificates, injections, and so on. Many of these additional things are not covered by Canadian Health Insurance and need to be paid for out of pocket regardless of whether or not you have a Health Insurance Card.
What is Covered by a Health Card in Canada?
Canada has a very comprehensive health care system, and many things are paid for and covered by the Government. With that being said, this is not true of all healthcare options.
A valid Canadian Health Card covers all services that are considered essential. These can include services like hospital visits and the cost of care within the hospital, visits to health care professionals, diagnostic tests, vaccinations, and so forth. Anything that is considered “essential” to our health is covered by insurance.
Certain services, however, are not covered by the Government. Elective and cosmetic surgeries, for example, are not covered under Canada’s health care plan. These must be paid for out of pocket. Other services that are paid for out of pocket include dental and vision services and prescription drugs not used within hospital care.
How do I get a Health Card in Canada?
If you are a refugee or new to Canada, you can apply for a health card via the Canada.ca website. Individual provinces and territories govern health cards, so it’s important that you apply through the province in which you will be residing. Each province has its own rules and regulations regarding who may apply for a health card.
To apply, you will need to fill out an application form and provide proof of citizenship and/or other supporting documentation as requested by the province/territory.
Health cards can take up to 3 months to arrive once they have been approved.
What if I don’t have a Doctor or Health Card in Canada?
If you don’t have a health card or doctor in Canada, there are several places that you can still get medical assistance. If you need to see a doctor and it is not an emergency situation, a walk-in clinic is the best place to seek medical help.
A walk-in clinic is a clinic where you can go without an appointment to speak to a physician. Here, you can be assessed and treated for minor illnesses or injuries, such as cuts, bruises, skin concerns, or physical illnesses.
If you need emergency care, the hospital is the best place to go. If you can make it to the hospital on your own or with help from a family member/friend, you can go to the emergency room. If you cannot make it to the hospital on your own or need immediate medical care, you can call 911 for ambulatory assistance.
Again, both of these options will need to be paid for out of pocket if you do not have Canadian health insurance.
Where can I go for Financial Assistance?
If you don’t have the finances to pay for your own health care, you have other options. If you can find one in your area, a charity clinic can help to deliver free healthcare to those in need.
These clinics are volunteer-based and generally offer services such as health and dental care. Depending on your financial situation, this care may be offered at a reduced cost or completely free of charge.
Unfortunately, charity clinics in Canada can be challenging to find. If you are lucky enough to have one in your area, they can also be challenging to get into. Many charitable clinics are limited in how many people they can help and generally accept low-income residents first.
If you can’t find a charity clinic near you, you can also try a community hospital. In terms of costs, community hospitals are generally much cheaper than hospitals in large cities. Many community hospitals may also offer programs or discounts for immigrants and lower-income families, so don’t be afraid to ask about your options.
Finally, if you must go to a regular hospital, ask about any programs or services that they offer for those without a health card. Some hospitals will offer social services that can help to lower your medical bills, but these services differ from hospital to hospital so it’s important that you ask about your options.
In conclusion, it will probably cost you somewhere between $60-$120 to visit a doctor in Canada if you do not have health insurance. This does not include the price of any extra services, notes, or medications that you need (these will be extra).
If you do not have the finances to cover your private medical bills, be sure to look at your alternative options first. Check for a charity clinic in your area, and ask your local hospitals about different programs they have available for those without health coverage.