Health Care

Alberta provides free hospital and medical services to residents. Take some time to explore how the health care system works and how to use it. There are also resources to help you look after yourself and your family’s health.

Health Link
Phone 811 to get free health advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For out of province users, call 1-866-408-5465. Learn more at

The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan

Alberta provides free basic health insurance through the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP). This plan covers permanent and temporary residents. It does not cover visitors or tourists. You must register within three months of arriving in Alberta.

See if you are eligible

What does it cover?
The AHCIP covers many medical expenses, but not everything. See what’s covered.

Basic health care insurance under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan does not cover eyeglasses, prescription drugs, dental care, the use of ambulances or some other health expenses.

Private health insurance is recommended for services not covered. Many employers offer insurance plans that help pay for these services. Any fees should be included as part of your job's compensation package. If your employer does not offer a health plan, or if you are self-employed, you can buy personal health insurance from a private insurance company.

How to access health care services

After registering, you will receive a personal health care card. Doctor, laboratory, health clinic and hospital visits are free with your card. If you do not have your card, you may be charged for a visit.

Walk-in clinics
You do not need an appointment to visit a walk-in clinic.

Family doctors
You must make an appointment to see a family doctor. For help finding a doctor who is accepting new patients visit the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta and use their “Find a Physician” search tool. You can also call Health Link.

Public health offices and community health centres
These facilities are different from hospitals or clinics. They offer services such as immunization and support programs. They also offer information on many health-related topics. To find a nearby public health office or community health centre, call Health Link at 811 or visit

Emergency medical services
If you can’t safely get to a hospital on your own, call 911, and an ambulance will arrive to take you to the nearest hospital. You may be charged a fee for using an ambulance if you do not have private health insurance that covers this service.

Mental health services
Many people will experience a mental health illness at some point in their lives, and even if you do not suffer yourself, you may be affected by the mental health issues of a loved one. Free health services are available for mental health issues, addictions, crisis situations and more.

Do you need financial support?

If your family has low income, you may be eligible for government financial support through the Alberta Child Health Benefit or the Alberta Adult Health Benefit. Visit Alberta Human Services to learn more.