Toronto’s healthcare system is very user friendly. All residents of the Province of Ontario are covered by the Ontario Healthcare Act and are in possession of an OHIP card. This stands for Ontario Health Insurance Plan.
The services covered with a health card would be paid for by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. In order to be eligible for this service one must reside in the Province of Ontario as a Citizen or with immigrant status. At least 153 days during a 12-month period must be spent in Ontario in order to continue receiving the healthcare benefits.
The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care will pay for a wide range of medical services, however, should the service be considered not medically necessary or cosmetic the patient will be responsible for the fee. There are many grey areas to be accepted at the discretion of the practitioner.
For example the removal of a mole could be considered medical treatment if there is potential of cancerous development. The removal of a mole for appearance purposes is considered cosmetic and therefore not covered.
Some ambulance charges are covered depending on the case as well by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term care. If you are a resident of Ontario and have a valid Healthcare card your service will be covered if the doctor deems it necessary for you to have utilized such a service, and if the trip originated from within Ontario and is completed within Ontario.
The fee will also be covered if there isn’t a clinic to deliver the patient to in Ontario able to handle the case, and the patient needs to be transported outside the province or country for the procedure. There may be a $45 co-payment fee depending on the situation.
Each person riding in the Ambulance is responsible for their health card information and will be billed accordingly. There are variables to this — please see www.Ontario.ca for further details.
If you are travelling to Toronto from outside the Province and have health coverage in your Province you will have to pay upfront to the Provincial healthcare provider you have sought services from then submit your claim for reimbursement from your own Provincial provider.
If you are travelling Internationally, the full cost of your medical services and ambulance fees must be paid upon receipt of such ride or service.
Healthcare in Toronto does not only include medical, there are others that are provided for by various healthcare professionals:
- immunization programs
- addiction services
- child health services
- emergency services
- ocular health
- cancer screening
- bone density diagnostics
- long term care services
Depending on your age and circumstance there are various levels of coverage in each case.
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care also cover many assistive devices. These would include:
- hearing aids
- walking aids
- feeding supplies
- oxygen and other medical aids
Routine eye exams are covered annually for children under the age of 18 and bi-annually for adults unless there are extenuating factors.
A licensed medical professional would base the factors that can vary this coverage on age, gender, ethnicity and previous screening.
For example if there was any pre-determined risk of Macular Degeneration (MD) or Open Angle Glaucoma (OAG) there would be a need for increased observation of the individuals ocular health.
Cancer screening is also included in this healthcare category. The Ministry pays for genetic propensity routine cancer screening as well.
Dental Health is not part of this program and unless it is deemed a medical necessity and an individual requires the treatment for physical health reasons in a hospital setting there is no Ministry coverage for dental care. (please see article on Dental Health)
The medical profession is governed by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, which in turn is governed by the Canadian Medical Association.
For further details on the Healthcare system in Toronto that is governed by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care in Ontario, please visit or call:
ServiceOntario, Infoline at 1-866-532-3161
(Toll-free in Ontario only)
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm