On Friday I received my healthcard from Manitoba Health. I carried my new, stamped Canadian Permanent Resident Visa to the offices, took a number (96) and sat for about 10 minutes. The ladies behind the desk called 86 and there was no answer. Then she called 87 and no answer. 88 was the same. 89 the same. Then customer number 90 went up as did 91 and 92 and 93. She called 94 and there was no one waiting. 95 was called and a large man went up to the desks. She called 96, and I saw down, showed her my visa, gave her my address, told her that this was my first time applying for Medicare and she typed my information into the system. About 2 minutes later, after copying my passport, she handed me back a completed, ready-to-use healthcard. I am now completely insured under the Canadian health system. I’m a bit incredulous; being part of a universal government program that is both desirable and acceptable is a strange thing. For most of my life, being part of any government-sponsored system was cause for concern or anxiety.
Covered for free. How strange.