Nova Scotia Healthcare

Nova Scotia Healthcare (known as Medical Services Insurance) is funded by the Provincial and Federal Government and is only provided for eligible residents of the Province. As with all of Canada, it is imperative to have some kind of health insurance as the cost of healthcare is very expensive.

If you are a Canadian citizen, or have Immigration status and a permanent resident of Nova Scotia who physically lives in the Province for at least 6 months of the year, you are eligible for the Nova Scotia Health Plan.

If you are coming from somewhere else in Canada, you will become eligible on the first day of the third month after you become resident in Nova Scotia. If you have landed immigrant status and you are arriving from outside of Canada you should be eligible from the day you become resident in the province. Students and people with a work permit have a longer Waiting Period before they become eligible.

Everyone must register for Medical Services Insurance to be eligible for Nova Scotia Healthcare benefits. You will need to provide documentation of citizenship or immigration status when applying. Once the application has been approved each member of your family will be issued with a Nova Scotia Healthcare Card. You must carry your card at all times to present if you require health services.

As the health coverage in Nova Scotia only covers necessary medical treatments it is highly recommended that you have additional coverage. The health card will need to be renewed every four years.

Prescription drugs, dental care and even a trip in an ambulance can be very expensive. Benefit packages that cover your healthcare in Nova Scotia are sometimes offered by employers or alternatively you can purchase your own, private plan.

Health Issues

As a whole there are very few serious issues that concern Nova Scotia healthcare. The two major illnesses that have hit the headlines are the SARS outbreak (2003) and the continued threat of West Nile Virus. SARS originates form the Far East (China in particular) and the main outbreaks were in Toronto and Vancouver. Several other canadians contracted the illness through Far Eastern travel. Fortunately, since 2004 there were hardly any confirmed cases in Canada and hopefully, effective treatment and vaccinations will reduce the threat further.

With the arrival of the summer comes the Mosquito. Unfortunately mosquitos are everywhere - especially near water - and some carry the West Nile Virus that is known to cause illness in humans to varying degrees. It does seem that the younger you are the less prone to the effects, though this is by no means clinically proven.

The best protection is to avoid being bitten in the first place, so wear long sleeves and pants (trousers) with a good quality repellant. The best one we have found is "Deep Woods Off" that also comes in a kids formula. Stay away from bodies of still or stagnant water especially around evening time when they are most active. If you feel the symptoms (see link above) see a doctor as soon as possible.