Healthcare in Newfoundland, Canada, offers a broad spectrum of services to citizens and visitors. Whether you are visiting this vast land or looking forward to residing here, it is necessary to understand how health insurance works in the province.

Medical care in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, offers various public health-related services. MCP (Medical Care Plan) helps low-income families or individuals pay for health services not paid for by their provincial government. MCP is a health coverage plan only. It does not cover dental care, prescription drugs, or ambulance service.

This new guide explains some critical aspects of the Newfoundland and Labrador Health Care system, including how to get your MCP health card, the requirements you will have to meet, and more.

Let’s dive into the details.

Newfoundland Health Care Administration

Newfoundland and Labrador are one of the most beautiful places in Canada to live. The province also has some of the best healthcare facilities in the country. Newfoundland’s healthcare system is one of the best in Canada. 

It provides residents with various health services, including surgical procedures, maternity care, mental health services, and more. Healthcare professionals in Newfoundland and Labrador are highly trained and experienced, which helps ensure you receive excellent care.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s healthcare system is based on the Canadian model, which means that it is publicly funded and accessible to all residents.

Moreover, Healthcare Administration in Newfoundland and Labrador is part of the provincial government’s Department of Health and Community Services. It is responsible for administering healthcare services in Newfoundland and Labrador, including managing all provincial hospitals.

Newfoundland Health Care Administration is committed to helping all legal residents get the best possible healthcare in Newfoundland.

The Department of Health and Community Services programs is responsible for the following:

  • Providing leadership on health policy development
  • delivering primary care services;
  • managing hospitals;
  • regulating the private hospital sector
  • providing home care services;
  • working with other provincial departments to develop integrated service models;
  • working with other provinces to advance national health priorities;
  • Coordinating a provincial response to emerging public health issues.

Healthcare in Newfoundland works for Newcomers

The Newfoundland and Labrador public insurance health program is a health insurance system that provides coverage for medically necessary hospital, physician, and ancillary services for legal and permanent residents of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The plan is administered by the Department of Health and Community Services. It is a single-tier public insurance plan that covers all medically necessary services regardless of age, gender, or income.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s public insurance health program includes:

  1. The Medical Care Plan
  2. The Dental Health Plan
  3. The Hospital Insurance Plan

If you are new to Newfoundland and Labrador, you may be eligible for a range of healthcare services not covered by your public health insurance plan, and a private health insurance plan is one of them.

It will take time for a newcomer to complete the application and documentation process for the public health insurance plan. Suppose you get sick and need medical care within the first week of your arrival in Canada.

Waiting for the process of public insurance to complete can delay your ability to see a doctor. So, you need to plan and acquire your private health insurance plan at least two weeks before you move to Canada.

The NLPHP(Newfoundland and Labrador Private Health Insurance Program) covers the costs of hospitals and medical services that cannot be covered while waiting for the approval of Public Insurance Plans.

What Is MCP?

Medical Care Plan (MCP) is a provincial health plan that covers medically necessary services and supplies. It provides coverage for insured person, their spouse, and dependants. It is not a substitute for provincial health care plans.

The MCP is administered by the Department of Health and Community Services. Medical Care Plan is designed to meet the needs of Canadians with private health insurance needs. These plans provide comprehensive hospitalization, medical, surgical, and care home.

Medical Care Plans provide coverage during all stages of the treatment process, from pre-authorization to post-treatment follow-up. If you have a heart attack and need emergency surgery, you will receive immediate care from an MCP provider without worrying about paying out of pocket for treatment.

An MCP can be used as a supplement to your existing health insurance plan or can be purchased as a stand-alone policy. However, unlike traditional health insurance plans, there are no waiting periods for coverage for MCPs. This can make them more affordable than some other types of coverage plans.

Medical Care Plan provides financial assistance to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who cannot pay the total cost of their necessary hospital and physician services. MCP does not cover 100% of your healthcare expenses. Depending on your income level, you can expect to pay 5 to 10% of your income per year. 

MCPs are often used by people who want added protection against high medical costs resulting from significant illnesses like Growth Hormone Deficiency and cystic Fibrosis or injuries.

MCP covers the following:

  • Treatment and diagnosis techniques
  • Complete medical treatment, including food and lodging,
  • Total medical care for pregnant women
  • Medical radiology interpretation
  • Dental care and other necessary dental services

MCP does not cover the following:

  • Ambulance services
  • Medical Checkups for the Eyes
  • Telemedicine services (such as CT scans and MRIs)
  • Non-prescription drugs or supplies;
  • Charges for dental services 

Eligibility Criteria for a Newfound and Labrador Health Card

The Newfoundland and Labrador’s Health Care Card is a government-funded healthcare insurance plan that provides basic health coverage for children, adults, seniors, and income assistance recipients in Newfoundland and Labrador. You can use a photo ID card to access health care services. 

You are eligible for a Newfoundland and Labrador Health Card if: 

  • Demonstrate that you plan to make Newfoundland your permanent residence or provide documentation of a home purchase or lease agreement establishing your intent.
  • Be a resident of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Suppose you are working on a full-time job or have been working here for at least twelve months. Except for those in the healthcare industry, no employment contract of 6 months or less is required to provide coverage.  

Applying for Your Newfoundland and Labrador Health Card

You can apply for your Newfoundland and Labrador health card any time during the year. In the event that your card is misplaced or stolen, you can also apply for a replacement. To apply for your Newfoundland and Labrador health card:

  1. Complete the application form. You can download a PDF version of the application from the official website of Newfoundland health service. If you prefer to fill out the form online, please go here.
  2. Provide all necessary documents along with the application form. You can submit all your documents online, whether scanned or in print format, even if they are original documents. The original document will be sent back to you after verification.
  3.  If you applied online or by phone, you could expect to receive your card within two weeks of submitting your application.

Required Documents

In case you are a Canadian or permanent resident, you will need to provide the following:

  • Valid Candian passport
  • Valid Birth Certificate

However, if you are a newcomer :

  • Legal documentation for immigration with a validity period of at least one year can be a Visitor permit, Study permit, Work Permit, 
  • Must have a current, valid passport.
  • Letter from University
  • Job Offer letter 
  • At least a year’s worth of work experience in relevant fields.

Non-Qualified Candidates

This Medical Care Plan does not cover the following individuals:

  • Individuals who are moving to Newfoundland and Labrador for less than one year as part of temporary relocation.
  • The Armed Forces of the United States, Canada, or NATO members. 
  • Travelers of all kinds, including transients and tourists
  • Individuals currently serving time in a federal correctional facility.

Hospital Insurance Plan in Newfoundland

The Hospital Insurance Plan (HIP) is a provincial health insurance program for Newfoundland and Labrador residents. It covers the cost of insured hospital services, including physician visits and hospital diagnostic procedures.

Our hospital insurance plan in Newfoundland covers all the following:

  • In-patient care: When you’re admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay. It includes room, meals, and other services provided while you’re staying there.
  • Out-patient services: These are services that are done at a clinic or doctor’s office but aren’t done as part of an in-patient stay at a hospital. These could include labs or x-rays done outside of a hospital setting.

They also include visits with a physician or nurse practitioner for treatment of chronic conditions or checkups for healthy people with no symptoms of illness or injury.

  • Rehabilitation services: This includes therapy for people who have had an injury or illness that affects their movement, speech, or ability to do everyday tasks like bathing or dressing properly

Prescription Drug Program in Newfoundland Labrador

The Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program (NLPDP) is a universal, publicly funded drug plan that operates in conjunction with the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Care Plan. It provides coverage for many prescription drugs to eligible residents of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The program covers many prescription drugs to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, and anxiety disorders. The program does not cover over-the-counter medications such as cough medicine or vitamins.

The NLPDP has two components:

  1. The Low-Income Component 
  2. The Special Needs Component.

The Low-Income Component helps eligible residents who do not have private health insurance or other programs that provide coverage for prescription drugs.

The Special Needs Component helps eligible residents with specific diseases or illnesses who do not have private health insurance or other programs that provide coverage for prescription drugs.

You must apply for the program in person at one of the Healthcare offices. You will need to provide proof of your identity (such as your health card or passport), proof of residence (such as a utility bill or lease agreement), and proof of income (such as a recent pay stub).

HealthLine for Newfoundland and Labrador

HealthLine is the one-stop resource for health information available to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador who are on social assistance, need mental health support, or experiencing a crisis.

HealthLine offers a full range of health-related information and services that are easy to use, reliable, accessible, and confidential. HealthLine also provides personalized care plans for people with chronic conditions that help them manage and stay healthy.

HealthLine has three main areas of focus:

  • Information on health conditions: Learn about your health condition and find out what you can do to improve or maintain your well-being.
  • Information on medications: Find out about their indications, side effects, and interactions with other drugs.
  • Health information on a wide range of topics, including chronic conditions, diabetes, mental health issues, cancer prevention, and screening tests, substance use disorders (alcohol abuse).

The Newfoundland and Labrador Health Line is a free, confidential telephone line for health information. The Health Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can call HealthLine at 1-888-709-2929, toll-free at 811, or visit their website at

Check Out This Video About Reimagining Health and Health Care in Newfoundland & Labrador:


What Happens if You Don’t Have Health Insurance in Canada?

The Canada Health Act states that everyone should have reasonable access to publicly funded health insurance. The act also says that provinces and territories must provide primary healthcare services on a prepaid basis to eligible residents of the province or territory, regardless of their ability to pay.

The cost of healthcare in Canada is shared among three levels of government: federal, provincial, and territorial. Each province and territory covers part of your healthcare costs — but not all.

Wellesley Institute reported in 2016 that between 200,000 and 500,000 Canadians do not have health coverage.

You may have to pay for your medical treatment if you don’t have health coverage. You may also be charged for emergency room visits or ambulance services if you don’t have insurance.

If you’re not eligible for public healthcare and can’t afford private insurance, some hospitals may offer discounted rates for uninsured patients who cannot pay their bills. These are sometimes called “charity” rates, but they’re not charity because provincial governments set them under their hospital funding laws.

What Healthcare is not Covered in Canada?

Canada’s public healthcare system covers essential health services for all residents of Canada and includes access to hospitals, physicians, and diagnostic services. However, some services are not covered, and you may have to pay for them. These include:

• Private rooms or beds in a hospital
• Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery
• Prescription drugs, unless a doctor prescribes them; 
• dental care, including dentures and orthodontic treatment (except when medically necessary)
• Eyecare

Do you Have to Pay for a Hospital Room in Canada?

Canada has a publicly funded healthcare system, meaning you don’t have to pay for your care. Your provincial health plan covers the cost of hospital care as part of your social assistance or private health insurance. 

The government-funded Medical Services Plan (MSP) may cover your hospital stay if you do not have private insurance. You will need to pay a small fee when you leave the hospital while they process your claim.

However, there are some costs that you may have to pay for privately (such as prescription drugs and dental care). For example, you may be charged for a room if you need to stay overnight in the hospital.

Another thing to remember is that not all doctors or hospitals are covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan), so you may still have to pay some out-of-pocket costs.

Is Healthcare Free in Newfoundland?

Yes. The province’s healthcare system covers everyone who lives in Newfoundland and Labrador. There are no fees to see a doctor, get medical tests, or get prescription drugs. You can also go to any hospital in the province for treatment. 

If you’re a visitor to Newfoundland and Labrador, you are also eligible for healthcare coverage while visiting the province. You can apply for your health card through ServiceNL. You must provide basic information about yourself, including proof of identity and address. 

You’ll be asked to sign a form that confirms you understand what your health card means and what obligations it carries with it. If you have any dependents living with you, they will also need to sign their forms as part of the application process.

Once your application has been approved, you will receive your healthcare card by mail within a few weeks. With the help of your healthcare card, you can get treated at any hospital or doctor free of cost.

Final Thoughts

Newfoundland and Labrador, in Canada, is a beautiful province with a lot to offer. The healthcare system is one of the best in all of Canada. Newfoundland’s healthcare system is a fascinating blend of old and new.

Newfoundland’s healthcare system is built on a foundation of MCP and the integrated model. The MCP is designed to provide universal access to quality healthcare, regardless of income or ability to pay. It is based on the principles of equity, fairness, and efficiency.

We hope this guide has helped explain the complex process of obtaining medical care in Newfoundland and Labrador. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.