Victoria Newcomers' Guide to Resources and Services Where to Go for Help Immigrant Settlement Agency: Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria 930 Balmoral Road Victoria, B.C. V8T 1A8 Tel: 250 388-4728 Fax: 250 386-4395 Website: http://www.icavictoria.org Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society 3rd Floor - 535 Yates Street Victoria, B.C. V8W 2Z6 Tel: 250 361-9433 Fax: 250 361-1914 Website: http://www.vircs.bc.ca Finding a family doctor How can you find a family doctor? Ask your friends, neighbours, or other people in your community. Talk to people at an immigrant settlement agency. You may be able to find a doctor who speaks your language. Some hospitals have a list of doctors who are taking new patients. Look in the Yellow Pages of the telephone book under "Physicians and Surgeons." Social Insurance Number To work in Canada, you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN). Most immigrants apply for this number shortly after they arrive in Canada. If you have not done this, go to a Human Resources Development Centre to apply for a card. Look in the Blue Pages of the telephone book in the Government of Canada section under "Human Resources Development Canada." Call the "Social Insurance Number Inquiry line" to find out what documents you need to take with you. Website: http://www.hrdc-drhc.gc.ca/ Applying for a Driver's Licence To apply for a B.C. driver’s licence, you must be 16 years old or older. Go to a Driver Services Centre. To find the phone numbers and locations of these offices, look in the White Pages of the telephone book under "ICBC–Driver Services." Remember to take two pieces of identification (ID), such as your Birth Certificate, Canadian Residency Card, or Citizenship Card with you. If you are under 19 years old, a parent or guardian must sign the application. B.C. Health Insurance The Government of British Columbia has a hospital insurance and a medical insurance plan. These plans are for British Columbia residents only. Canadian citizens, landed immigrants and convention refugees are all eligible. Registering for Health Insurance You do not need to register or pay for hospital insurance. To receive insurance through the Medical Services Plan (MSP), for medical services including doctors’ fees, you must register. If you don’t, you will have to pay for these services yourself, and you may find the cost very high. It is important to register for medical insurance as soon as you arrive in British Columbia. Phone an MSP office to find out how. In Vancouver, call 604 683-7151. In Victoria, call 250 386-7171 or 250 382-8406. Elsewhere in B.C., call 1-800-663-7100. After registering, you will not get insurance protection immediately; you will need to complete a waiting period that includes the rest of the month in which you became a resident of British Columbia, plus two months. You should get temporary insurance from a private company for the waiting period. Look in the Yellow Pages of the phone book under "Insurance Companies – Other Than Life." When your MSP coverage begins, everyone in your family will get a "CareCard." People 65 years old and older get a special Gold CareCard. Each card has the person’s name and a personal health number. Sign your card, and always take it with you when you visit a doctor or hospital. Calling an Ambulance If you need an ambulance, call 911 or the emergency phone number in your area. This number is usually at the front of the telephone book. Ask for an ambulance. The ambulance will take you to the Emergency Department. MSP will not pay for an ambulance. If you go in the ambulance, you will have to pay for it. You don’t have to pay right away. Hospital Costs You don’t have to pay for hospital costs if you are a permanent resident. If you are a refugee claimant, you must get the "Interim Federal Health" paper from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada office to go to a hospital. The Canadian government will pay the hospital costs.
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