The Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) administers the public health and prescription drug insurance plans: it informs the public, manages eligibility, remunerates health professionals and ensures the secure flow of information.
This public service is available to all eligible persons. Please refer to section 3 of the Regulation respecting eligibility and registration of persons in respect of the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec:
(1) foreign nationals whose main purpose for being in Québec is to work, who hold an office or employment for a period of more than 6 months and who hold an employment authorization valid for a period of more than 6 months issued by Canadian immigration authorities and indicating the employer’s name and the place of employment, except Canadian International Development Agency scholars, unless they are receiving only a scholarship supplement from the Agency. This paragraph does not apply to persons who may engage or continue in employment without an employment authorization under sections 18 and 19 of the Immigration Regulations, 1978 (SOR/78-172);
(6) the spouse or any dependant accompanying a person referred to in any of paragraphs 1 to 5 during the temporary residence and who, if a foreign national, has been granted entry by Canadian immigration authorities for a stay of more than 6 months or who, if a Canadian citizen, establishes the intention to stay in Québec for a period of more than 6 months.
To be eligible for the RAMQ, persons staying in Québec temporarily must be present in Québec for the entire duration of their stay. They may, however, leave Québec for periods of 21 consecutive days or less and remain eligible for services covered outside Québec. If they leave Québec temporarily for more than 21 days, they will not be covered by the Health Insurance Plan during their absence.
The program covers medical services as well a range of health care services to meet specific needs.
Generally speaking, if you arrive in Québec from outside Canada, even if you are a Canadian citizen, you will be eligible for the Québec Health Insurance Plan after a waiting period of up to three months following your registration. Apart from certain exceptions, the Régie does not reimburse the cost of the healthcare received during the waiting period.
The Régie does not reimburse you for healthcare received during the waiting period. To save you from having to pay for any healthcare services that you or your family members may need, the Régie strongly recommends that you take out private insurance within 5 days following your arrival in Québec. Thereafter, coverage is more difficult to obtain. For information about private insurance, contact the OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance (OLHI).
Reciprocal social security agreements
The Québec government has entered into reciprocal social security agreements, which include a health component, with the following countries:
These agreements apply to temporary workers, students and detached workers and aim to facilitate mobility between Québec and the signatory countries. They enable individuals to be covered by the healthcare insurance plans available in these countries and avoid the waiting period for coverage.
You must take certain steps to receive the services described under these agreements. For more information, go to the website of the RAMQ or call 514 864-3411.
Everyone under the age of 65 who is eligible for a private plan is required to obtain at least the prescription drug coverage provided by that plan. Most private plans (often called health insurance plans) offer prescription drug coverage along with other healthcare coverage, but some offer prescription drug coverage only.
Private plans are available either through employment, through membership to a professional order or association or through a person’s spouse or parents. Those who are covered by a private plan are required to obtain coverage under it for their spouse and children. Furthermore, whomever is eligible for more than one private plan may choose the plan they consider the most advantageous.
Persons who are eligible for a private plan cannot be covered by the public plan.
Each provincial and territorial medical care plan will cover medically necessary hospital and medical costs, which are provided free of charge at service points. The governments fund these services through cash and tax transfers from the federal government.
Under most provincial and territorial laws, private insurers are restricted from offering coverage that duplicates that of the publicly funded plans, but they can compete in the supplementary coverage market.
When Canadians need health care, they most often turn to primary health care services, which are the first point of contact with the health care system. In general, primary health care serves a dual function. First, it provides direct provision of first-contact health care services. Second, it coordinates patients’ health care services to ensure continuity of care and ease of movement across the health care system when more specialized services are needed (e.g. from specialists or in hospitals).
Primary health care services are increasingly comprehensive and may include prevention and treatment of common diseases and injuries, basic emergency services, referrals to and coordination with other levels of care such as hospital and specialist care, primary mental health care, palliative and end-of-life care, health promotion, healthy child development, primary maternity care and rehabilitation services.
Doctors in private practices are generally paid through fee-for-service schedules that itemize each service. Most doctors work in independent or group practices and are not employed by the government. Some work in community health centers, hospital-based group practices or primary health care teams or are affiliated with hospital out-patient departments.
The provinces and territories provide coverage for certain people (e.g. seniors, children and low-income residents) for health services that are not generally covered under the publicly funded health care system. Those who do not qualify for supplementary benefits under government plans pay for these services through out-of-pocket payments or through private health insurance plans. Many Canadians, either through their employers or on their own, are covered by private health insurance and the level of coverage provided varies according to the plan purchased.
Medical care is available throughout Québec. This service is covered by the universal health insurance plan administered by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ). All Québec residents are eligible for this health insurance plan. They must register with the RAMQ to obtain a health insurance card.
This plan covers all essential medical care but not special treatments such as cosmetic surgery or natural or alternative medical treatments. Before consulting a physician or other health specialist, make sure that he or she practices under the RAMQ. Otherwise, you will have to pay for the visit yourself.
Health and Social Services Centres (CSSS)
Health and Social Services Centres (CSSSs) ensure accessibility, continuity and quality of services for people on their local territory. They are reference points where people can go in case of health or psychosocial problems to receive appropriate services or be directed to another part of the local services network.
The mission of the general and specialized care hospitals is to provide care through treatment and education for patients admitted for a health problem so that they can recover and maintain an optimal state of health and independence.
These hospitals offer nursing care, emergency and birthing services, mental health care (evaluation and treatment) and a range of other services including nuclear medicine, medical imaging and radio-oncology.
Network clinics were created to improve access to medical services in Montréal and reduce the number of visits to hospital emergency departments. Most of these clinics accept patients without an appointment seven days a week, including holidays. They also offer on-site lab and radiology services.
All network clinics are open 12 hours a day during the week and eight hours a day on weekends. Please note, however, that it’s always a good idea to check the opening hours before you go.
Since 2009, integrated network clinics (CRIs) have been created by merging a Montréal family medicine group (GMF) and a traditional network clinic, to which a team of health professionals (nurse, nutritionist, psychologist, kinesiologist, etc.) has been added. As a result, family doctors are no longer on their own when it comes to following their patients.
A CRI comprises 10 to 15 general practitioners, about the same number of other health professionals and a technical team. Each doctor can follow about 2 000 patients, for a potential medical caseload of 30 000 patients per clinic.
Click here for a complete list of clinics.
Info-Santé 8-1-1 is a free and confidential telephone consultation service. 8-1-1 is the only telephone number for this service. Dialling 8-1-1 promptly puts you in contact with a nurse in case of a non-urgent health issue. The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All people living in Québec can call Info-Santé 8-1-1 for themselves or their close family.
Info-Santé 8-1-1 nurses give advice and may answer health-related questions. When necessary, they may also direct you to a resource in the health network. Calling Info-Santé 8-1-1 often helps avoid going to a medical clinic or emergency room. However, in the event of a serious problem or emergency, it is important to dial 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room.
Here are a few examples of situations in which you can call Info-Santé 8-1-1:
- You have a seasonal flu that persists several days and you are wondering if you should go see a doctor
- Your child wakes up with a high fever and you are wondering if you should take them to emergency
- You are wondering what to do in order to relieve itching and swelling caused by an insect bite
- You have questions regarding health network resources
The Ubisoft clinic (private) is among the employee benefits that Ubisoft provides. It is open to the spouses and children of employees with an indeterminate employment contract.
Consultations are free. A 10% rebate is offered on lab tests carried out by the laboratory affiliated with the clinic (Westmount Square Health Group).
The clinic is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located at 5505 boul. St-Laurent on the fifth floor (facing the elevator). Go to www.docteurdirect.com or call 514 490-2000 ext. 5236 to make an appointment.
As the spouse of a Ubisoft employee, you must provide your spouse’s employee number as identification.
Régie du logement
Tenants and landlords have obligations and rights. For instance, the main obligation of a tenant is to pay the rent and to pay it on time while the main obligation of the landlord is to deliver the dwelling in a good habitable condition and maintain it in that state.
The Act respecting the Régie du logement and the articles of the Civil Code of Québec pertaining to the nature of leases provide information on the obligations and rights of tenants and landlords in matters of residential leasing.
Citizen services 3-1-1 (in French only)
The 3-1-1 information bank contains hundreds of documents released by the city. The documents have no legal status and are provided for information purposes only. The content is subject to change without notice.
Diversity is one of Montreal’s greatest features: the diversity of its neighbourhoods, population, services and culture. For families, living in Montréal means providing the best for your children, having quality time to spend with them and being able to access daycare, schools and parks in your neighbourhood, all within walking distance.
No doubt that you’ll pick up some new eating habits in Montréal! Here are a few websites that may come in handy.
SOSCuisine.com generates personalized meal plans with grocery lists. The meal plans are based on your food preferences and are updated every week to take advantage of flyer specials at your favourite supermarkets. What’s more, each recipe sheet provides the complete nutritional facts. Finally, an answer to the age-old question: what’s for dinner?
SOSCuisine also provides specialized meal plans (for diabetes, weight loss, sports performance, pregnancy, etc.). Designed under the supervision of dieticians and members of the OPDQ, these meal plans will help you improve your health.
Tripadvisor Montreal restaurants
TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site*, enabling travellers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from travellers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find great hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 340 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 225 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.9 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 45 countries worldwide. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.
Typical Quebec meals
There are several public markets in Montréal.
Public Markets of Montréal (MPM) is a corporation of 250 members, vendors and merchants in the city’s 15 markets.
Founded in 1993, the mission of the corporation is to give Montréalers access to local produce at public markets that correspond to their identity. The corporation’s goal is to honour the traditions of past public markets, pay tribute to Québec’s heritage and be a place where rural and urban cultures meet. Today, each of the city’s markets has a wide selection of products from all over Québec and is staffed by knowledgeable vendors who are eager to offer their expertise. The markets are also a place to meet, exchange and host community events.
To get around Montréal, take a bike, car or public transit!
As a new resident, you may be authorized to drive in Québec during the six months following your arrival depending on the validity and terms of your licence. Click the link below for more information.
By becoming a Communauto subscriber, you gain access to a fleet of over a thousand cars at 400 stations (in Montréal, Québec, Gatineau and Sherbrooke) that you can reserve at low cost for a half-hour, an hour, a day or longer, according to your needs. Located in the heart of your neighbourhood, the cars are available without delay, 24/7. It is the perfect complement to all other public and active transportation modes.
The weather in Montréal can be a mixed bag. In winter, temperatures sometimes plummet to -25 °C. In the summer, the mercury will rise to 30 °C and July heat waves send everyone running to the public pools! Every season has its own charms, and the weather conditions impact the Québec’s landscapes and people. The right clothing and accessories will help you get through Canada’s infamous harsh winters!
Affordable winter clothing:
For mid to high end clothing:
Languages spoken in Montreal
Canada is a bilingual country, and nowhere in the country is this more apparent than in Québec. There is a mix of English- and French-speaking people on every corner in Montréal. Knowledge of French and English is often required to find employment. To facilitate your integration and help you learn a new language, Ubisoft provides the spouses of its employees with a budget of $600
CAD (subject to all applicable deductions) to attend language courses.
The Québec government assigns great importance to learn French. In Québec, courses in French as a second language are available free of charge in several formats. Financial aid is granted by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la diversité et de l’inclusion under some conditions.
- Intensive full-time course (including the online application)
- Part-time course
- French courses in the workplace
- Specialized course to meet specific needs
If your situation does not allow you to take a French course in class, a flexible self-training coursein French as a second language is provided by the government’s online classes.