The healthcare system in Toronto is publicly funded by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), which affords coverage to all residents of the Ontario province. 

This comes at a minimal monthly premium paid through automatic income tax deductions, and allows free access to doctors, specialists and all necessary medical surgeries. Co-payments are minimal or non-applicable. 

Unfortunately, only Toronto expats who have residence or work permits are eligible for the tax-funded health insurance plan, so those who don’t will need to rely on private health insurance.


Getting public health insurance in Toronto

Expats moving to Toronto must visit a ServiceOntario centre in person to apply for their Toronto health care. Applicants must bring proof of identity (such as their passport), evidence of their OHIP-eligible immigration status (such as a Permanent Resident Card), and confirmation that they live in Toronto (such as a local driver's licence or tax assessment). 

Once approved, a card which gives access to the OHIP through a personal health number is posted to the applicant's home and should be carried at all times. In the interim, between applying for the CareCard and receiving it, expats should secure private health insurance. 

The OHIP covers its members throughout Canada, provided that Ontario is their place of residence and they spend more than six months of the year in the province. 

While the healthcare system is excellent and the medical professionals well trained, the system often falls victim to the pitfalls of bureaucracy. Waiting periods can be long and it is often difficult to find a general practitioner willing to take on new patients.  

For this reason, some expats opt to take out private insurance. Private insurance also provides comforts not covered by the public insurance, such as private hospital rooms and dental and optometry services.


Hospitals in Toronto

Below are some of the most prominent hospitals in Toronto.

Mount Sinai Hospital 

Website: www.mountsinai.on.ca
Address: 600 University Avenue, Toronto

St Michael's Hospital 

Website: www.stmichaelshospital.com
Address: 36 Queen St E, Toronto

The Hospital for Sick Kids

Website: www.sickkids.ca
Address: 555 University Avenue, Toronto

Toronto General Hospital

Website: www.uhn.ca
Address: 200 Elizabeth Street, Toronto

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