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Settling questions relating to health and work

MustLoveCats

Hero Member
Jan 24, 2016
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I have some questions as some things have fallen through from my husband (Canadian) and my original plan. I am aware that the city mentioned as the destination city on the COPR does not mean a person has to live there, and they can live anywhere in Canada once landing even for soft landing. I just have a few questions since doctors (family doctors and specialists) and hospitals seem to be scarce in some parts of Canada.

1- If no one in the new area we decide to move to is accepting new patients or have the specialists that can help us, can we look to other cities for doctors? My husband's friend's ex-girlfriend who we are still friends with goes all over Ontario sometimes up to 60-90 mins away and they are from Kitchener, and she gets taken care of. Can the same be said for us? I am thinking we should live in St. Catherine's as its about 30 mins from Burlington and 80 mins from Toronto. I read the Niagara region is severely underserved and has been for the past 6 years.

2-By living in St. Catherines I'd be only 40-45 minutes from the peace bridge and where my school is, and around 22 mins from Niagara Falls, NY. That would still give me an option to work in the states. I plan to eventually obtain dual citizenship. If I work in the states, I am pretty sure with employer insurance I could have coverage in the states too as I'd be paying into it and could get my husband and future children on it too. Have you heard of many new immigrants settling from USA but still working in USA and having health coverage within both countries?

I am in grad school with my degree in Health Services Administration with years of experience working in different fields of medicine. Since healthcare is different there I might have a hard time finding work in Canada, because I heard that immigrants can be discriminated against. Toronto has tons of medical hospitals and practices so I was thinking applying there and if I happen to get a job there take the rail, but I am wondering too since there are more health care options for an individual there, can someone who lives outside the city seek care there? I ask because I will need a lot of specialists to care for me as I have medical conditions. Especially an obgyn as I will require surgery at some point, and because I can only have a c-section to have children.

I appreciate any insight. Thank you.
 

starnaenae

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Aug 9, 2016
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You. Can seek healthcare anywhere in ontario. Note that you have to be residing in ontario for at least three months after you land before you receive OHIP
 
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AlgCad0218

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Nov 20, 2018
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Paris
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You can’t have health insurance in Canada if you are not a resident.
 

kcward7

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May 4, 2017
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You can’t have health insurance in Canada if you are not a resident.
This is incorrent. Inland applicants with valid OWP who have a full time job offer for at least 6 months qualify for OHIP after they've been in Canada for 90 days.
 

AlgCad0218

Star Member
Nov 20, 2018
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They have become residents but the OP talks about residing in the US and qualifying for provincial health insurance.
 

Hurlabrick

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Sep 4, 2016
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Very common NOT to have a family doctor in Canada. But the walk-in clinics are excellent and work well. Often, if you use the same walk-in clinic for a while, a Doctor there may invite you to have them as your family doctor - this recently happened to us living in London ON after goin g to the same clinic for 9 months.
 
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Copingwithlife

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Jul 29, 2018
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You can seek care basically anywhere . I live in Toronto , I was visiting family in Alberta. I got sick enough I needed to see a Dr. I showed them my OHIP card, they direct bill the system in Ontario . The only province they don’t do that for is Quebec
I have a family Dr in Toronto , and if I can’t get into see her, I go too a walkin clinic . Most walkins are excellent, some, well you’d think the Dr got their degree out of a Cracker Jack Box. In that case you get a second opinion
I don’t know how fast medical referrals are in the States. Here, really depends upon where they slot you . If it’s a non emergency, expect to wait your turn . If it’s an emergency, you go to the front. Case in point, had a stomach ache last year, bad one, went to emergency. Faster than you could say Bob’s your uncle, had CT, appendix popped out, (it had burst)short stay in hospital, and off you go. System works , but it’s not dependent upon how much you’ll pay, it’s dependent upon the urgency of your need
Any results from the walkins are typically sent back to your primary care provider , just for continuum of care
 
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MustLoveCats

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Jan 24, 2016
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Very common NOT to have a family doctor in Canada. But the walk-in clinics are excellent and work well. Often, if you use the same walk-in clinic for a while, a Doctor there may invite you to have them as your family doctor - this recently happened to us living in London ON after goin g to the same clinic for 9 months.
I have a lot of medical conditions that require testing and monitoring regarding medication and other treatment every 3 months. IRCC was aware of my issues as I declared them. Nothing contagious or a threat to the public, but unfortunately my body has numerous autoimmune diseases. I also want to try to become pregnant at least a year after living in Canada and I have serious reproductive issues and conditions that I would require an obgyn for. I guess we'll have to see our options where we live in the future and when I eventually move. I just cannot live in Canada without having a doctor when I chronic medical issues. Thank you for letting me know about the walk in clinics. Maybe my husband can check them out and see about me having access to someone.
 

canuck78

VIP Member
Jun 18, 2017
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You can seek care basically anywhere . I live in Toronto , I was visiting family in Alberta. I got sick enough I needed to see a Dr. I showed them my OHIP card, they direct bill the system in Ontario . The only province they don’t do that for is Quebec
I have a family Dr in Toronto , and if I can’t get into see her, I go too a walkin clinic . Most walkins are excellent, some, well you’d think the Dr got their degree out of a Cracker Jack Box. In that case you get a second opinion
I don’t know how fast medical referrals are in the States. Here, really depends upon where they slot you . If it’s a non emergency, expect to wait your turn . If it’s an emergency, you go to the front. Case in point, had a stomach ache last year, bad one, went to emergency. Faster than you could say Bob’s your uncle, had CT, appendix popped out, (it had burst)short stay in hospital, and off you go. System works , but it’s not dependent upon how much you’ll pay, it’s dependent upon the urgency of your need
Any results from the walkins are typically sent back to your primary care provider , just for continuum of care
You should ask you doctor about visiting walk-in clinics. Most doctors have been forced to join practice groups who take turns offering after hours care. If you go to a walk-in clinic they get punished financially by OHIP which can lead to problems for you since doctors don’t enjoy getting fined by OHIP. Most doctors require you to sign a practice agreement that may require you to pay the fine for not going to the after hours clinic or if you do something repeatedly you could be asked to leave the practice, Just warning others that there are often financial consequences for your family doctor if you visit a walk-in clinic or ER for something that didn’t require an ER visit and they should ask their doctor what they should do if they can’t get an appointment with their GP. My doctor got fined from OHIP for my unnecessary ER visit but they fought it because the computer didn’t pick up that they called me 30 minutes later because they missed something and admitted me for 3 days and gave me a chest tube.
 

MustLoveCats

Hero Member
Jan 24, 2016
229
154
You can seek care basically anywhere . I live in Toronto , I was visiting family in Alberta. I got sick enough I needed to see a Dr. I showed them my OHIP card, they direct bill the system in Ontario . The only province they don’t do that for is Quebec
I have a family Dr in Toronto , and if I can’t get into see her, I go too a walkin clinic . Most walkins are excellent, some, well you’d think the Dr got their degree out of a Cracker Jack Box. In that case you get a second opinion
I don’t know how fast medical referrals are in the States. Here, really depends upon where they slot you . If it’s a non emergency, expect to wait your turn . If it’s an emergency, you go to the front. Case in point, had a stomach ache last year, bad one, went to emergency. Faster than you could say Bob’s your uncle, had CT, appendix popped out, (it had burst)short stay in hospital, and off you go. System works , but it’s not dependent upon how much you’ll pay, it’s dependent upon the urgency of your need
Any results from the walkins are typically sent back to your primary care provider , just for continuum of care
It's reassuring to know that. My husband has his doctor in his city but when I move up there we will relocate and both be without doctors. I did tell him do not leave the doctors practice without first having a new one in place wherever we live. I work in healthcare in the states and have a lot of experience behind the scenes, and we can get in to see a specialist doctor pretty quickly. Dermatology and endocrinology seem to have the most wait, around 3 months. Women do not need a referral to see an obgyn. Some emergency depts are just dumb as I speak from experience as a patient where I kept coming back days and weeks after my wedding because no one knew what was wrong with me. Turns out eventually after seeing a GI, and 4 procedures/tests later my esophagus and stomach were lined with ulcers. Great way to start married life (sarcasm). I am hoping we can actually find a family doctor because I need one for my conditions and I do want to get pregnant at some point where I would need to be monitored monthly, and it would be unsafe for me to be up there without any care or not have anyone write my medication that I need to take daily the rest of my life to stay alive.
 

canuck78

VIP Member
Jun 18, 2017
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4,884
Many of the fertility treatments are not covered by OHIP so you may have to pay for those things. Expect that it may take many months to a year to get into seeing some specialists. Once you are their patients seeing someone every 3 months may or may not be possible but 3-6 months once you get into the doctor’s patient load is usually possible. Most of the regularly surveillance is often downloaded to the GP. If you live in Niagara and have to go to Toronto it will be a whole day off for perhaps a 5 minute appointment which is annoying.

In terms of working in healthcare management it is much tougher to find jobs versus the US. There is tons of administration in the US because of the private and insurance system. In Canada the majority of the administration is done be healthcare practitioners that have grown through the ranks to management and the attempt is to minimize the administration side of healthcare. In most practices you may have medical secretaries but no management jobs in healthcare practices. There are some provincial government jobs but many are taken by healthcare practioners that want 9-5 jobs. Lots of ex-nurses and things like that.

First c-section is available at most hospitals. There are some remote small hospitals that don’t have an anesthesiologist but most do.

Many people who live in Canada but work in the US plan or are hoping to cancel their healthcare coverage in the US to save a lot of money. OHIP technically still compensates your care at International hospitals and doctors but at Canadian rates. You would be left with a huge bill and it is one of the things that is likely to be stopped by the Ford government. I always advise people to keep their US insurance especially if you commute daily to work there. There is a high chance of needing medical care in the US if you drive there almost daily and you’d have to take a day off every time you’d need to see a doctor in Canada. Depending on your employer it will likely not make financial sense to get coverage for your spouse and children if they are living and working in Canada.
 

starnaenae

Champion Member
Aug 9, 2016
2,748
798
Category........
FAM
Visa Office......
Mexico
App. Filed.......
March 1 2017
Doc's Request.
March 27, 2017, July 10, 2017
AOR Received.
AOR 1:March 17 2017 AOR 2: May 10, 2017
File Transfer...
April 8, 2017
Med's Request
Upfront - PASSED
Med's Done....
December 12 2016
Interview........
NOT REQUIRED
Passport Req..
March 5, 2018
VISA ISSUED...
March 13, 2018
LANDED..........
April 30, 2018
Youll want to research how to obtain provincial healthcare as well as what your partners benefits cover for including medications. Just as an fyi things here work much different than the us. Waiting for a specialist appt if its not urgent which nothing basically is these days is months. Ent, ob, everything. Most family doctors are not fertility specialists and will have to wait about a year of unsuccessful trying to get pregnant before being referred to a fertility specialist which then takes months to get an appt as well. Not all treatments are covered by benefits so you have a long road ahead of you. It is not up to you how often you are seen by an ob once you become pregnant. If you are deemed high risk a referral is sent to the clinic and if the accept you they will do an intake and set the pace of appts. I get that you have many health issues but things here are MUUUUCH different. I was a high risk pregnancy with an ulcer that then perforated. Due to the risks for me i was seen every two weeks at the high risk clinic. This pregnancy is every three right now. Best of luck to you