What health coverage do refugees receive?

Refugees and newcomers to Canada are guaranteed comprehensive health coverage for one year from the point of their arrival under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP). See All about Medical Coverage for a comprehensive overview of the IFHP. Newcomers in Kingston and surrounding area are seen by a wide variety of health providers, some of whom offer service in a variety of languages. Check with your local settlement agency if you'd like more specific  information about medical, dental or counselling services available in other languages.

Do refugees require a OHIP card?

Yes, a priority in the first weeks after arrival is a visit to an Ontario Service office to apply for a OHIP card. You will need to bring the Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292 or IMM 5688) as well as proof of address. If you use a temporary accommodation address, remember to change this to the permanent address once accommodation has been found.

How do we know which pharmacists and dentists in Kingston and area are registered to provide services to refugees under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP)?

Contact Medavie Blue Cross for providers in your area https://provider.medavie.bluecross.ca or check with the settlement agency for the current list. Many local dentists are willing to provide dental care at reduced cost for newcomers.

How can we help connect refugees/newcomers with community or social groups to reduce isolation?

It’s important to connect newcomers with a community beyond the sponsorship group. There are fantastic opportunities for this in Kingston and area. Contact the settlement agency for current programs and groups.

What forms of recreation exist for newcomers?

Sponsors are encouraged to provide opportunities for recreation for newcomers: visiting, outings, recreational and social events, and engaging in their local community. This may entail going on a hike together, strolling through the market, or arranging a trip to Sandbanks or apple picking in the autumn. Celebrating family times and holidays together, volunteering together, attending a community event or sports game together. Keep in touch with what events are going on in your community that you could invite them to. Settlement agencies may also provide some opportunities for newcomer recreation as well.