Ontario Health Insurance Plan

OHIP is the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. People living in Ontario who pay taxes can receive the benefits from OHIP. OHIP offers basic medical support and emergency medical support. Some specific treatments are not covered by OHIP but patients can get examined at a hospital and get information upon where they should get further treatment. Presenting your OHIP card first in an emergency situation is required, so newcomers should always carry their OHIP card. To qualify for OHIP the person applying must have been in Canada for more than 153 days in one year.

Who qualifies?

To qualify for OHIP, you must meet all of the minimum qualifications listed below plus at least one of the additional requirements.

To meet the minimum qualifications you must:

  • be physically in Ontario for 153 days in any 12‑month period
  • be physically in Ontario for at least 153 days of the first 183 days immediately after you began living in the province
  • make Ontario your primary home

You must also meet at least one of the following additional requirements. You:

  • are a Canadian citizen
  • are a permanent resident (formerly called a “landed immigrant”)
  • have applied for permanent residence, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has confirmed that:
    • you meet the eligibility requirements to apply
    • you have not yet been denied
  • are in Ontario on a valid work permit and are working full-time in Ontario, for an Ontario employer, for at least six months
    • your spouse and any dependents also qualify if you do

OHIP – How to apply

To get a Health card (OHIP), You must apply for OHIP in person at a ServiceOntario centre.

  • a completed Registration for Ontario Health Insurance Coverage form
  • three separate, original (not photocopies or printouts of electronic documents) identification documents:
    • one that proves your Canadian citizenship or OHIP-eligible immigration status (e.g. Canadian birth certificate, Permanent Resident Card )
    • one that proves you live in Ontario (e.g. Ontario Driver’s Licence, income tax assessment)
    • one that supports your identity (e.g. credit card, passport from any country)

Family Doctor

How can I find a family doctor?

A family doctor is also called general practitioner (GP). Family doctors are usually the first doctors to diagnose and treat most medical problems. If you need to see a specialist doctor, usually you need a family doctor to refer you. Family doctors also order laboratory and other tests.

Here are a few ways you can look for a family doctor.

  • Ask a friend or family member if their doctor is accepting new patients.
  • Register with Health Care Connect. This program refers you to a local doctor or nurse practitioner who is accepting new patients. You need to have OHIP to use this service. It is run by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. To register, call 1-800-445-1822.
  • Use the Doctor Search service. It is run by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. You can also call 1-800-268-7096 ext.603. If you are in Toronto, call 416-967-2603.
  • Look in the Yellow Pages of your telephone book. Search for Physicians & Surgeons.
  • If you want a Korean doctor, search through the Korean yellow pages.
  • Ask the nearest hospital if it has a family practice unit.
  • You can also ask a worker at your local settlement agency (e.g. KCWA Family and Social Services).

When you contact a doctor, you need to call first to make an appointment and you also need to bring your OHIP card.

Where can I get medical help if I don’t have a family doctor?

Walk-in Medical Clinic: You don’t need an appointment to to to a walk-in medical clinic. Some clinics are open in the evening and on weekends. You need to take your health card (OHIP) with you. You may not be able to see the same doctor every time you go to a clinic.

Community Health Centre (CHC): CHCs have health professionals such as doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners on staff. If you do not have OHIP, you might be able to get health care services at a CHC. In some cases, you can get help from a community health centre even if you do not yet have a health card (OHIP).

Telehealth Ontario: You can call the Telehealth Ontario phone service at 1-866-797-0000. You can talk to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This service is free and confidential.

Going to the Hospital

Most services offered at a hospital; consultations, surgery and other treatment are provided by the Ontario government for free. However, OHIP does not cover dental procedures or plastic surgery. Furthermore, OHIP does not cover the price of medicine. There are programs in which the government does provide assistance for the price of medicine. Please check the KCWA website information on Ontario Works. In order to find out about other areas, which are not covered by OHIP, you can also find out during the examination period when you visit the doctor. Moreover, each year through OHIP you will be provided with one general health examination for free.

Prescription for medicine

After the examination if needed the doctor will write a prescription. You can take the prescription to a drug store to get the requested medicine. At that time the pharmacist will inform the patient of the dosage, possible side effects, and possible reactions to medicine.

Anyone can go to the drug store and buy over the counter medicine or non-prescription medicine without a prescription.

Miscellaneous Medical Service Centres

Where can I get health care if I don’t have OHIP?

If you don’t have a health (OHIP) card, you might be eligible for services at a Community Health Centre (CHC), which is a non-profit organization, which supports medical assistance. These organizations often offer help to newcomers who have different language and/or cultural issues. In addition to the medical program, there are also anti-racism programs, sexual education programs, domestic violence prevention and treatment programs, parenting education programs, support for teenage mothers programs and drop in counseling for youth programs. These are offered to groups with different backgrounds and cultures.

There are over 22 of these types of centre’s in the GTA, with Access Alliance offering services to the Korean Community in Korean.

There are also free dental clinics, which offer services to low-income seniors who are older than 65 years of age. In addition there is free dental services for youth up to the 8th grade and high school students who are in ESL. In order to get more information you should call 416-392-0907 to connect with the appropriate clinic. Often the employees of these clinics will be more culturally sensitive and some will have Korean speakers.

Home and Community Care

Home and community services support people of all ages who require care in their home, at school or in the community. (Call: 310—2222 without local area number)

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