The Canadian healthcare system offers residents and work permit holders access to high-quality and publicly-funded healthcare, which is managed on a provincial level. 

Expats with permanent residency in Vancouver qualify for this scheme, called the British Columbia Medical Service Plan (MSP), and should submit their paperwork to sign up for it as soon as possible. The MSP allows free access to specialists, general practitioners and all necessary surgeries.

Getting public health insurance in Vancouver

Expats moving to Vancouver can apply for the MSP in person, online or by mail using their permit, proof of identification and address. There is a three-month waiting period between application and when coverage begins, and during this time it’s crucial that expats take out personal or employer-sponsored private health insurance. Expats will become eligible to use the MSP once they receive their CareCard with their Personal Health Number. 

The MSP provides limited coverage for emergencies outside British Columbia, and members are fully liable for the costs of medical procedures and prescriptions obtained outside the province. Expats who don’t qualify for the state-sponsored health insurance plan and those travelling outside British Columbia should be sure to secure private health insurance for the duration of their stay. 

Expats should note that the MSP does not cover dental, eye care, prescription medicines or extended health services, such as ambulances. It is therefore necessary to maintain private coverage, which is usually employer-sponsored.

Hospitals in Vancouver

St Paul’s Hospital

Address: 1081 Burrard Street Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1Y6

BC Children’s Hospital

Address: 4500 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC, V6H 3N1

BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre

Address: 4500 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC, V6H 3N1

Mount Saint Joseph’s Hospital

Address: 3080 Prince Edward Street, Vancouver, BC, V5T 3N4

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Moving your family abroad can be intimidating, but learning about medical options such as family health insurance early on can help you settle successfully.

  • Comprehensive Family coverage, wherever you go
  • Paediatric coverage for well-child visits & immunizations
  • Access to dental and orthodontic care
  • 24/7 multilingual Customer Service

Get a quote from Cigna Global (10% off family health plans in June)

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo logo

International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes from select removal companies now!