Maintaining your health doesn’t stop when you’re on vacation. Before visiting Nova Scotia, Canada, there are a few things you should consider when it comes to Canada’s travel health insurance and medical services.
Travel Health Insurance in Canada
If your health insurance does not cover travel outside your home country, you’ll want to obtain Canadian travel health insurance before visiting. Make sure you review it to confirm what is and isn’t covered as there are many different packages for travel health insurance in Canada. Don’t forget to bring your health insurance card, as well as family contact information, with you when you visit.
Medical Services in Canada
Canada has one of the best health care systems in the world, with its hospitals and medical centres funded by provincial health authorities. The cost of medical services in Canada for visitors varies across the country and depends on the complexity of each case. In most hospitals, a day of in-patient care will cost approximately $1,000-$2,000 a day.
If you need emergency medical services in Canada, most hospitals operate 24-hour emergency rooms. You will also find walk-in clinics in many towns and cities, where visitors can receive non-emergency treatment. Similar to hospitals, the cost for care will vary across the country and on the complexity of your situation. Here you’ll find listings for walk-in clinics in Nova Scotia, and in the local phone book.
Emergency Medical Services in Canada
If you need immediate response from police, fire or ambulance services, you can do so by calling 911 in most areas of Canada. If you’re in an area where 911 service is not available, dial “0” for the operator and request the appropriate emergency response. There is no charge for emergency calls placed from a public pay phone. However, most ambulance services will bill a patient for transportation to a hospital. This cost varies by ambulance service; in Nova Scotia, the cost for non Canadians is approximately $1000.
Prescriptions & Pharmacies in Canada
Another item to add to your travel preparation checklist is to bring all your prescription medications. If there’s a chance you could run out during your trip, you should also bring a copy of your prescription. There are pharmacies across Canada, in both rural and urban areas, with varying hours of service and dispensing fees.
Remember to carry your prescription medications in their original packaging, including their pharmacy labels. If you are carrying your medication in a weekly pill container or other non-pharmacy package, it’s a good idea to bring along a copy of your prescription or a letter from the prescribing doctor. Some people also choose to bring their glasses or contacts prescription, in case they need to be replaced.
Immunizations & Vaccinations in Canada
There is no need to receive special immunization or vaccinations before visiting Canada. You can always check with your family doctor if you have any concerns, particularly if you are travelling with children. The Public Health Agency of Canada's website is also a good resource for current travel health information.