Victoria Newcomers' Guide to Resources and Services by guy26


									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

Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society
3rd Floor - 535 Yates Street
Victoria, B.C. V8W 2Z6
Tel: 250 361-9433
Fax: 250 361-1914

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.
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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