The Quebec Health System Explained In 10 Points
Having health care is a necessity when settling in a new country to study or live. Also, it’s possible, for whatever reason, that you could need to consult a doctor during your stay in Quebec.
RAMQ, CLSC, CHUM, all of those initials refer to essential concepts of the Quebec health system. Here is the summary that One Vision Tour has made so that you are well informed on the topic :
1. In Canada, health is a provincial matter, which means you will refer to the Quebecois government and not the Canadian one for health issues before and during your academic stay in Quebec.
2. The administration responsible for public health insurance is called the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ). It issues health insurance cards which are also called sun cards (cartes soleil) which permit the holder of the card to have access to medicine and emergency care. This coverage is not reserved to citizens or permanent residents.
3. In fact, some students of certain countries have agreements and have free access to RAMQ. Notably, students from Belgium, Danemark, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Romania and Sweden can have access to it. For more information, click here.
4. Please note that the RAMQ doesn’t cover the fees generated by a dentist or optometrist visit. However, your university or cégep probably offers health insurance that will pay such fees, and also those of health and hospitalisation. Please verify with your institution.
5. The emergency telephone number is 911. And if you wish to have non urgent medical advice via telephone, the number to dial is 811. The nurses at Info-Santé are available 24/7 to answer your question. Both numbers are free.
6. If your condition is serious, you must go to the emergency room of a hospital on the island of Montreal, such as the CHUM (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Montréal), Hôtel-Dieu Hospital or Notre-Dame Hospital.
7. However, if it’s not urgent, it is not advised to go to the ER, for two reasons : first to avoid congestion in the rooms and second because the waiting time is difficult to determine and you could wait many hours.
8. So, when your health state doesn’t require urgent attention (vaccination, sampling, psychological help, pregnancy, medical tests) you can go to one of the many CLSCs (local community services centres) in Montreal. Please call the nearest CLSC to make sure it offers the service you are looking for.
9. Your other options are to go to a public or private clinic to consult a doctor. Some of the clinics offer a medical consultation service without appointment. To find such a clinic close by, click here.
10. If you intend on staying in Quebec for an extended amount of time, you can register on the family doctor waiting list. The waiting time can last many years, but once you have a family doctor the medical process will be much easier since you will be able to consult him or her for most of your problems.
Generally, health services provided in Canada are good quality, as proved by the study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which, after having studied the health systems of more than 188 countries, ranked Canada 8th in its best countries ranking in terms of health.
The One Vision Tour advantage :
It’s better to have all the chances on your side to avoid unexpected events, especially when it comes to health. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can help you !