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Navigating the Health System

Having the right information and services at the right time helps you achieve your best health. Learn how to evaluate health information, know your rights, advocate for your need, and help improve the health system.
Health insurance
Health Insurance for You and Your Family
You have a right to health care in Canada.
The Medical Services Plan (MSP) is BC's health insurance system. 

The fact sheets and videos below were developed to help newcomers understand health services in BC. These materials:
  • provide an explanation of MSP health insurance
  • explain how to enroll
  • explain what the Medical Services Plan covers
  • provide basic information about other forms of health insurance (i.e., private and extended)
  • provide information about government programs that may help women with low incomes such as the Healthy Kids and Pharmacare programs.
Eng-NIWHFactsheet1Fact sheet 1: Health Insurance

Available in multiple languages: Arabic, English, Farsi, French, Korean, Mandarin and Punjabi.

Video 1: Health insurance for you and your family


View this video in multiple languages: Farsi, French, Korean, Mandarin and Punjabi.

Videos are also available in DVD format. To order please contact:

Finding services
Health Care Services for You and Your Family

These resources provide a basic explanation about the types of health care services available to women and their families in BC. These materials were developed originally to help newcomers understand health care in BC. They include information on:

  • how to find a family doctor
  • how to access primary care
  • how to get care from a nurse practitioner
  • how to book an appointment
  • what to expect when you go for a visit
  • how to get immediate care at a hospital emergency department or by phoning HealthLink BC
  • how to access community clinics for newcomer immigrant and refugee women
  • how to access interpreter services
  • the role of Nurse Practitioners in health services in BC

Fact sheet 2: Finding Health Services

Available in multiple languages: Arabic, English, Farsi, French, Korean, Mandarin and Punjabi.

Fact sheet 3: Nurse Practitioners

Available in 7 languages: Arabic, English, Farsi, French, KoreanMandarin and Punjabi.

Video 2: Health care services for you and your family


View this video in multiple languages: FarsiFrenchKoreanMandarin and Punjabi.

Videos are also available in DVD format. To order please contact:

If you are uninsured

The New Beginnings Maternity Clinic provides care for pregnant women who meet the following conditions:

  • You are a Government Assisted Refugee and cannot access services in your community;

  • You are a privately sponsored refugee OR have applied for refugee status AND can demonstrate financial hardship;

  • You are in the process of spousal sponsorship and awaiting MSP coverage AND can demonstrate financial hardship;

  • Other special circumstances as determined by BC Women's Hospital AND can demonstrate financial hardship.

Contact our patient relations clerk for information about the cost of delivering your baby at BC Women's if:

  • you have no medical insurance, and you do not meet the criteria for care via our staff clinic
  • you meet BC Women's criteria for pre-registration
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SOURCE: Navigating the Health System ( )
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