Medical Insurance Information

All international students are required by law to have medical insurance while studying in British Columbia. Health care services in Canada can be very expensive and it is mandatory to have insurance coverage. A standard visit to the emergency room at a British Columbia hospital costs $750 plus charges for additional tests. It is the student's responsibility to have adequate medical insurance while in Canada. Students who do not have medical insurance will not be eligible for services from Vancouver Island University.  All new VIU international students will be registered in the VIU health insurance plan. To learn more about the plan benefits and services, please see International Insurance. This is a mandatory program and enrollment is automatic. Once enrolled in the plan, you will receive your ID Card by email. Make sure to have a valid email address on your student record and to check your Junk Mail.  Please print this card and keep it with you at all times.

What Type of Medical Insurance do You Need?

Who am I?

Do You Have a Medical Question?

Talk to a Nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Toll Free: 8.1.1 or 604.215.8110

HealthLinkBC Translation Services Available in 30 Languages

- If you currently insured under the VIU health plan, go to International Insurance to find the many ways in which you can contact Students currently insured under the plan also have free 24/7/365 access to by contacting the Assistance Line number on your ID Card.

Where Should You Go if You are Sick?

In Canada, people go to walk-in clinics not the hospital for most illnesses.
Hospitals are for serious emergencies only.

If you have a sore throat, cough, stomach upset/pain/vomiting, headaches, cold/flu, rash, sore ear/eye/mouth/hand/foot, back pain, bladder/kidney/sinus infection, etc. Then visit a walk-in clinic (see the list below) and a doctor will see you. If you need to visit the Emergency Room at the hospital, the doctor will tell you.

If you have an emergency such as broken bones or serious injuries then go directly to the Emergency Department at:
Nanaimo Regional General Hospital
1200 Dufferin Crescent, Nanaimo
Phone: 250.755.7691

If you have a life threatening condition call 9.1.1

VIU Health and Wellness Centre

Located in the VIU Nanaimo Campus See the VIU Health and Wellness Centre for more information.
Spring and Summer Hours: Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 3 pm
Appointments are free for all VIU students. For an appointment Call: 250.740.6620
Located in Building 200. Map of the VIU Nanaimo Campus.

When the Student Health Clinic is Closed

Students may wish to visit the local walk-in clinic or on-line mobile doctor such as:

See additional Health and Wellness Resources and after hours supports and counselling and a comprehensive database of Vancouver Island community resources on the VIU website under Counselling.

Traveling to Another Country?

If you plan to leave Canada for any period of time, please contact your medical insurance carrier to verify your coverage. Your current medical insurance may not be adequate to cover all, or any expenses incurred outside Canada.