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How can I receive health services in the Durham Region?

Ontario Health CardOntario residents are eligible for provincially funded health coverage through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).  A resident of Ontario must have a health card to show that he or she is entitled to health care services paid for by OHIP. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care pays for a wide range of services, however, it does not pay for services that are not medically necessary, such as cosmetic surgery.

To be eligible to participate in the Ontario Health Insurance Plan you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or have immigration status as set out in Ontario's Health Insurance Act
  • make your permanent and principal home in Ontario
  • be physically present in Ontario 153 days in any 12-month period.

To get your first Ontario health insurance health card or to replace it you need to visit a ServiceOntario centre. More information on ServiceOntario centres can be found by visiting the ServiceOntario website.


By visiting the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Careyou can find information regarding getting your card.


By visiting the ServiceOntario website you can also find the nearest ServiceOntario location to where you live that accepts applications for Ontario health cards.


You can also get more information from ServiceOntario by calling toll-free 1-800-267-8097 during their Monday to Friday office hours of 8:30am to 5:00pm or TTY/Teletypewriter toll-free 1-800-268-7095. 

As a newcomer to Ontario, you will usually have to wait about six months before you are eligible for coverage under OHIP. You should apply for the program as soon as you arrive.  While you wait, you can receive short-term health insurance through the Interim Federal Health (IFH) Program.



Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)

Durham Hospitals

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