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Accessing Medications and Healthcare in Canada as a Newcomers

Publish Date: 23/09/2023

Here are the key points regarding medication access and healthcare in Canada for newcomers:

1. Types of Medications in Canada:

Canada has over-the-counter drugs, available without a prescription, and prescription drugs, which require a doctor's prescription.

2. Checking Medication Requirements:

Verify if your medication requires a prescription in Canada using the Canadian government's Prescription Drug List.

3. Bringing Medications to Canada:

Health Canada allows entry with a 90-day supply of both over-the-counter and prescription medication or a single-course treatment, whichever is less.

Medications should be in retail or pharmacy-dispensed packaging or have clear labeling.

4. Filling Prescriptions in Canada:

You cannot use a foreign prescription in Canada; you must obtain a prescription from a Canadian doctor.

Options include walk-in clinics, having a family doctor (for long-term stays), or utilizing on-campus medical services (for international students).

5. Canadian Health Insurance:

Canada offers universal healthcare called Medicare, which covers basic medical services.

Prescription drug coverage may not be included in Medicare, but some provinces have provincial drug plans.

Many employers in Canada provide health plans that cover some prescription medication costs.

Temporary residents should consider private health insurance.

6. Canada Pharmacare Act (Planned):

The Canadian government plans to pass the Canada Pharmacare Act in 2023.

This act aims to establish universal public pharma care, providing all residents with publicly funded prescription drug coverage based on medical needs.

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