If you are a resident of Canada you don’t have to pay to see a doctor or for hospital treatment. The Government of British Columbia has a health insurance plan called the Medical Services Plan (MSP). It is only for British Columbia residents who are Canadian citizens, landed immigrants or government-assisted refugees. Post-secondary international students with study permits and people with work permits for six months or longer can also get MSP.

It is important you apply for a MSP health insurance card from the provincial government as soon as possible after you arrive. Every member of your family will need their own health insurance card.

Your health insurance card will give you free:

  • hospital care
  • treatment and examinations performed by your family doctor
  • many types of surgery
  • many types of laboratory tests
  • almost all immunizations
  • X-rays

But you may have to pay for:

  • prescription drugs
  • dental care
  • visits to an optometrist, prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses
  • ambulance services

You will find an overview of MSP and healthcare in BC in chapter 4 of the BC Newcomers’ Guide    You can view this online or download a pdf to your own computer. You can also read it in 8 languages

  • French
  • Chinese
  • Vietnamese
  • Farsi
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Korean
  • Arabic
  • Punjabi

There is a Settlement Worker available to answer any questions you have:

Whistler Welcome Centre: tel. 604.698.5960  email:

Pemberton Welcome Centre: tel. 604.967.1664  email: