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Fast Facts

Comedy and Tragedy theatrical masks

Kingston Buskers Rendezvous

A popular event, especially with families, is the annual Kingston Buskers Rendezvous, featuring jugglers, acrobats, musicians, magicians and other performers who take to the downtown streets for four days in early July.

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Home >> Living >> Health Care

Health Care

Under Canadian law, all residents, including permanent residents, are guaranteed access to essential medical services. Canada's universal health system includes both "public" and "private" services.

  • Publicly funded services are considered medically necessary and covered by government health insurance plans. Some examples are visits to your family physician or surgery to repair a broken leg or ruptured appendix.
  • Private health services are not insured by government and may be covered by workplace health insurance plans, private health plans or by individual patients. Visits to the dentist or treatment by a chiropractor or naturopath are examples of private health services that are not covered by government.

Provincial and territorial governments are responsible for delivering health services in Canada and each does it a little differently. In Ontario, for example, eye examinations are publicly funded health services for people under 20 years of age and over 65, but are not covered for people outside those age groups. By comparison, Manitoba covers eye exams for people under 19 years of age and over 65.

Ontario's health system is organized into regional health authorities called Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) that oversee health services in different geographical regions. Kingston falls under the South East Local Health Integration Network.

One of the first things newcomers should do is register for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), the provincial health insurance in Ontario. The insurance takes effect three months after you arrive so you will need to purchase private insurance to cover the waiting period (see Interim Federal Health Care (IFH)).

This section will help you understand the health insurance system in Ontario, the types of services it covers, the role of family doctors, hospitals, clinics and other types of health services that are available to help individuals and families.

  • Clinics — Details on the types of clinics available in Kingston. Includes flu, after-hours, and walk-in clinics.
  • Counselling — Types of counselling services and programs available in Kingston.
  • Dental & Eye Health — Information on maintaining dental and eye health. Programs, services, and what is and isn't paid by OHIP.
  • Family Doctors — Finding a family doctor in Kingston. Includes information on what they do and why your family needs one.
  • Hospitals — Information on Kingston hospitals and the services they provide.
  • Mental Health — Information on mental health services in Kingston.
  • OHIP & Health Insurance — Information on the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) and health insurance. Includes details on private health care, Interim Federal Health Care (IFH) and prescription drugs.
  • Telehealth Ontario — Information on the Ontario government's Telehealth service that connects callers with health questions to a registered nurse.

For More Information

City of Kingston’s Emergency Services
Information on various types of emergencies — utilities disruption, extreme weather, fire, hazardous materials, human health — how the city is planning for them, how you can plan for them, and a list of who to call in case of emergency. Also includes information on personal and family (household) emergency preparedness, such as evacuation plans, go bags, etc., and a downloadable Get Ready Kingston guide.

Health Care System
An overview of Canada’s publicly funded health-care system, the role of the provinces and territories and the different elements of the system. Links to studies that examine the health system and further information.

Canada Health Act
What is the Canada Health Act, definition of important terms, and the requirements that provinces and territories must fulfil to qualify for federal payments.

Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks
Regional health authorities called Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) run the health-care system in Ontario. Information about the role of the LHINs and their geographical boundaries is included on this site.

South East LHIN
Information about role and programs of the regional health authority responsible for health services in Kingston and the surrounding region. Includes a list of Kingston agencies that provide health services in French.

Health Care — OHIP
Ontario Immigration information about OHIP, the waiting period, services covered, how to apply for a health card, financing the first three months in Ontario, and questions and answers.

What is Canada’s political system?
An explanation of the three levels of government in Canada and the political systems that operate within them. Also available in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), French, Gujarati, Pilipino (Tagalog), Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, and Urdu.

Health — Settlement.Org
Information about health insurance, community and public health, finding a doctor, emergency services, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, patient rights and responsibilities, and disability.

Canada’s Food Guide: My Food Guide
An interactive tool to help you personalize the information found in Canada's Food Guide to your and your family’s needs based on sex, age, activity-level. While the tool is only available in English and French, the guide is available in Arabic, Chinese (traditional or simplified), Farsi, Korean, Russian, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil and Urdu.

Mes services en français! Kingston (Ontario)
A listing of various social and family services for francophones in Kingston. Services include child development, early childhood centres, education and public health, counseling, homelessness domestic violence, etc. Available in French only.

Where can I buy private health insurance for newcomers and visitors to Canada?
Where can I buy private health insurance for newcomers and visitors to Canada? Information on purchasing health insurance coverage as a visitor to Canada or to cover the 3-month OHIP waiting period required for newcomers to Ontario. Also available in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), French, Gujarati, Pilipino (Tagalog), Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, and Urdu.

Frontenac Community Mental Health & Addiction Services (FCMHAS)
A non-profit organization providing a variety of services to those with mental health and/or addiction issues. Services include community, mental health, court, addiction, housing and vocational (job and career) support. A Family Resource Centre is available, as is a 24-hour crisis line.

Living Well Workshops
A series of 6-week workshops on living well with Chronic Disease, Diabetes, and Chronic Pain, these programs help people learn how to better manage the day-to-day tasks and challenges of their chronic conditions. These workshops are offered regionally by the Self-Management Program of Southeastern Ontario in partnership with the Kingston Community Health Centres. There is also a Facebook page.

Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)
Sets out the rights and duties of workers, supervisors, employers and others for safe and healthy workplaces.

Learn to work safe
Training tools to help you learn how to work safely – several available in different languages.

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