Many Canadians believe that if they go on vacation anywhere in Canada, they’re fully covered by their provincial healthcare plans. However, you may be surprised to hear that if a medical emergency happens outside your home province, provincial healthcare only covers certain costs, leaving you to pay the difference.

Here’s an example:

45-year-old Martin, from Winnipeg, travelled to Lethbridge for business. During a meeting, he experienced severe abdominal pain. An ambulance took him to the nearest hospital, where doctors discovered he was having an acute gallbladder attack. He required immediate surgery! After two days in hospital, Martin was discharged. As he wasn’t medically fit to drive, he flew back to Manitoba. In this instance, TuGo arranged the return of his vehicle home.

provincial healthcare abroad

Luckily, Martin was covered by travel insurance; otherwise, he would have been on the hook for $2,625.31 just for the ambulance and return of his vehicle! These are not costs that provincial healthcare plans cover.

If you’ve purchased annual travel insurance this year, you’ll automatically be covered within Canada. Check with your insurance broker and review your policy wording for confirmation. Other services not covered by provincial health plans include prescriptions, home/private nursing, medical equipment rentals, and flying family members to the bedside, so be sure to see if you’re covered for these services through your travel insurance too.

Questions? Please share them with us!

Happy travels,


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