Living in Toronto

Health Care for Newcomers

Know Your Health Care Options

Residents of Ontario are entitled to health care services paid for by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). This coverage normally begins three months after residency has been established. You must have a health card to show that you are covered by OHIPThe Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website provides information on how to get a health card. 

Once you have your OHIP Card there are many more health care options available. Knowing your health care options will help you to make better choices for you and your family's health care needs. The Ontario Health's website can help you explore the different health care choices available to you.

Are you looking for a doctor?

Health Care Connect helps Ontarians who are without a family doctor or nurse to find one. If you do not have one this service refers you to a family doctor or a nurse who is accepting new patients in their community. Find out more about the program

Free Health Services

Toronto Public Health wants you to stay healthy. These free health services are available to you and your family no matter how long you've been in Canada. 

You don't need a health card to use the following free services:

Dental Care

If you cannot afford to pay for dental care, you may be eligible for free dental care. To find out if you are eligible, call 311 and ask for a dental appointment. Interpretation provided.

Advice for Pregnant and New Mothers

Having a baby and raising children isn't easy. Get advice on the phone about: having a healthy pregnancy, giving birth, breastfeeding, child growth and behaviour, toilet training and other questions. Call 416 338-7600 and ask for new parent advice. Interpretation provided.

Vaccination Services for Children

Did you know every time your child receives a vaccination you need to report it to Toronto Public Health? Doctors do not report vaccinations. Your children may be suspended from school, if they have an incomplete record or do not have a valid exemption on file. Toronto Public Health can translate your immunization record. Free immunizations are available if you don't have a health card.

Healthy Eating

Contact us to get advice about children's nutrition, shopping for groceries, community gardens, cooking programs and healthy low cost meals from many cultures. Call 416-338-7600 and ask for healthy eating advice or cooking programs. Interpretation provided.

Family Planning and Sexual Health

Toronto Public Health Clinics provide free and anonymous advice about sexual health issues. The clinics also provide confidential services such as:

  • free or low cost birth control
  • pregnancy tests and options
  • free testing for and treatment of sexually transmitted infections
  • free testing for HIV

For more information call 416 392 2437. Interpretation provided.

More Health Information and Resources 

Whether you have your Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card or not it is important to take care of your health. The health section of is also filled with information, links and valuable resources about newcomer health care including info on health insurance, how to find a doctor or other medical professional, and health services for you and your family during this transition and long after.