If a Non-Canadian (Not Eligible for Their Health Insurance) is Visiting Canada and Gets Sick, What Happens?

In the United States, since 1986, federal law has prohibited a hospital from turning away an emergency patient for lack of ability to pay.  Thus, a person without health insurance will be treated, at least until he is stabilized.  Afterward, payment arrangements can be worked out (e.g. third-party responsibility in accident cases, government programs, etc.).

Let's say I am a U.S. citizen, visiting Toronto, and I have no insurance (not theirs, none of my own).  I am a pedestrian in a crosswalk, knocked down by a negligent motorist, and I suffer serious injuries.  Will an ambulance come for me?  If it does, and takes me to the hospital, will they treat me?  Will they treat me and wait until I can resolve the legal claim against the negligent driver?

2 Answers

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  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you need life saving care, of course they will treat you but you will then likely get a huge medical bill if you survive, and they will go after you in the US to pay it if need be, but you can also probably make a claim against the negligent driver's car insurance to pay, and if necessary probably can sue the driver who was negligent in Canada to pay for it. However, if nobody else is negligent, and you just hurt yourself by like doing something stupid or what not, that lands you in a hospital while in Canada, then they'll likely come directly after you, and they can seek all remedies that a domestic company can pursue if they file it in your jurisdiction obviously, so if something you're concerned about, then you can purchase temporary travel insurance policies that include medical emergency coverage. Most big insurance companies have them, and can call around for quotes.

  • Elaine
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    In your scenario you would be taken to the hospital and treated like any other Canadian.  The financial costs would be worked out later. 

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