Your To-Do List Before Going to Canada

Chapter 9: Get a medical checkup

Published: 03-03-2020



Get a medical checkup

Checkup and prescriptions

If you have a prescription for an ongoing condition and will travel with medications, ask your doctor to give you the name of equivalent drugs to have your prescription filled in Canada, and get a prescription covering the duration of your stay. Note that IEC travel health insurance plans don’t usually cover pre-existing conditions.

You can often get a 12-month prescription for birth control.

You also need a current, valid prescription to buy contact lenses. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to take a vision test (and fees apply!). Note that visits to the optometrist or other eye care providers aren’t covered by your travel insurance in this case because vision care is a “pre-existing condition.”

It’s also a good idea to have a dental checkup before leaving. Dental care is expensive and generally not fully covered by travel insurance policies.

Basically, make an appointment with every health provider you see regularly at home to cover your bases before your trip abroad.

Recommended vaccines

No specific vaccine is required or recommended for Canada. However, you may want to make sure you did get your tetanus and diphtheria booster shots (usually every ten years for adults). If you plan to travel outside Canada, check if you need specific vaccines.

Find out if your responsibilities as a citizen abroad

For long absences, you may have to notify the following agencies, if applicable:

  • Social security (or equivalent)
  • Employment services (especially if you get benefits)
  • Tax services

You have rights and duties as a citizen and you may have to notify several agencies that you will be abroad for an extended period of time.

Consider getting an International Driving Permit

If you’re going to stay in Canada for a long period of time (i.e. several months and more), it’s best to get an International Driving Permit, especially if your own driver’s licence isn’t in English or French.

Don’t forget your original licence, you still have to carry it with your International Driving Permit!

Chapter 9 of 10


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