Healthcare and medical care
Finland has a social security arrangement with the Province of Quebec. Entitlement to medical care applies, however, only to employees posted from Finland to Quebec and to researchers and students. In other circumstances, for example, on a tourist trip, you will be responsible for the costs of treatment provided in Quebec. It is therefore recommended that you take out comprehensive travel insurance.
If you travel to Quebec as a posted employee, researcher or student, you must first register with the Quebec Health Insurance Plan (Régie de l’assurance maladie) in order to obtain medical care in the same way as local residents. After registration, you will be entitled to, among other services, medical treatment, hospital care and, in part, dental treatment. You will also get the local Health Insurance Card. Read more about registration under Moving outside the EU area.
Most doctors participate in the Health Insurance Plan. Treatment is free when you present the Health Insurance Card issued by the Quebec Health Insurance Plan in conjunction with a doctor´s visit. The Health Insurance Plan remunerates these doctors directly for the services they provide. Check with the doctor beforehand whether he or she participates in the Plan.
A small number of doctors do not accept the Health Insurance Card. They invoice the client, who can seek reimbursement from the Health Insurance Plan afterwards. These doctors must inform clients of their status.
In addition, some doctors, who have opted out of the Health Insurance Plan (“non-participants”), do not accept the Health Insurance Card. You cannot seek reimbursement afterwards for cost of the services of these doctors. Non-participating doctors, too, must inform their patients of their status.
A doctor´s referral is usually required for hospital treatment. If you need urgent medical care, you can go to a hospital directly. Emergency medical care is free if you have a health insurance card issued by the Quebec Health Insurance Plan.
Health insurance reimburses dental costs in the event of illness or an accident. Reimbursements for children under the age of 10 cover a wider range of services, which include one examination per year.
Only certain groups are eligible for the reimbursement of prescription drugs under the Health Insurance Plan. In order to be reimbursed for prescription drugs, a person must insured in the separate Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan, for which only persons over the age of 65, the economically disadvantaged and persons unable to take out a private plan are eligible.
If you not covered under the public plan, you must take out a private plan. Private plans are available either through employment or through membership in a trade union. In that case, prescription drugs will be reimbursed in accordance with the terms of the insurance plan.