Are you a foreign student who has just arrived in Quebec? Do you know what to do in the event of illness and how the health insurance system works?

Quebec welcomed nearly 55,000 international students in 2022. Whatever the length of your stay in Quebec, it’s important to find out how health insurance works, whether you’re entitled to it and what to do in the event of illness. Find out everything you need to know in our article.

How do I get an appointment with a doctor?

To consult a doctor, you can go to one of the following medical clinics:

  • RAMQ-affiliated clinics: You can request an appointment with a family doctor. As there are many requests, the wait can sometimes be long. Most of the care offered is covered by the Quebec health insurance plan (RAMQ) if you are eligible. See eligibility conditions.
  • Private clinics not affiliated with the RAMQ: private clinics are a good option for getting a quick appointment and more personalised care. Consultations are not covered by the Quebec medical insurance plan (RAMQ), but they are covered by most private insurance plans.

Contact a clinic

How can I get my healthcare costs reimbursed?

Depending on your situation, there are several options available to you.

Registering with the Quebec health insurance plan (RAMQ)

The RAMQ is the provincial organisation that covers part of healthcare in Quebec. As an international student, you must meet certain eligibility conditions to register with the RAMQ and receive reimbursement for your healthcare:

  • Be a citizen of one of the countries that has signed the agreement, which allows foreigners to be covered by the RAMQ when they stay in Quebec. France, Belgium and Norway are part of this agreement, while the United States and Asian countries are not (see the list).
  • Be covered by the social security scheme in your country of citizenship. The latter must provide you with a form justifying this.
  • Register online on the RAMQ website and provide the required documents.

The RAMQ covers most medical services administered by family doctors (consultations, examinations, anaesthesia, surgery, etc.). Only certain dental, optical, pregnancy and childbirth services are covered. Visit the RAMQ website to find out more.

Taking out private insurance

If you are not eligible for the RAMQ or if you would like better cover for your healthcare, you can take out private medical insurance. This will allow you to access complementary care without having to pay, or to make an appointment at a private clinic where the wait is shorter than in a public clinic.

Most universities offer health insurance. Ask your university administration for details.

Clinics for foreign students in Montreal

The ELNA Médical network offers health services close to Montreal’s main universities:

Concordia University and McGill University:

UQAM and ÉTS : ELNA Medical – Old Montreal: RAMQ-affiliated clinic with private services.

Montreal University, Polytechnique Montréal et HEC Montréal:

Book an appointment

At ELNA Médical, we understand that the healthcare system can seem complicated for foreign students and people immigrating to Quebec. Our teams do their utmost to offer healthcare to everyone.