Medical Insurance for International Students

Medical Services Plan

All international students studying for more than 6 months in BC are required to have basic medical coverage. This medical coverage is issued through the government of British Columbia and is called the Medical Services Plan (MSP).

MSP covers the cost of any medically required service provided by a physician enrolled with MSP. There is a monthly fee for this coverage and it is billed to you directly by the government. Currently, the cost is $37.50 CAD per month for a single individual. Effective January 1st 2020, the total cost of MSP will go up to $75 per month, per student. You can apply for MSP coverage online or by mail. You will be required to submit a scan of your study permit for the MSP application.

If your study permit(s) have expired and you no longer have MSP coverage, you may be provided temporary MSP coverage if:

  • You are currently living in B.C.
  • You were previously enrolled in MSP as a deemed resident
  • Your MSP has expired

Contact Health Insurance BC to request this temporary coverage

Temporary Insurance for International Students

Students arriving to Canada for the first time should purchase medical insurance during the 3-month MSP waiting period. Douglas students are able to sign-up for a temporary insurance plan such as Guard Me using your student ID and proof of enrollment through the Douglas / Guard Me microsite. You can access your policy, add dependents, make a claim, find a clinic, visit a doctor online, and more. 

Guard Me temporary medical insurance for Douglas College students

Douglas Students' Union Health & Dental Plan

This extended coverage plan covers things that are not covered by the MSP, such as ambulance fee, vision care, dental care and prescription drugs. Full-time students registered in a Fall semester are automatically enrolled in the Student Health and Dental plan for $250 per year, charged as part of the tuition fees. The insurance period begins on September 1 and ends on August 31 of the following year.

If you start your studies in a Winter semester, you can opt-in to the coverage during the last two weeks of January. See the individual enrollment options here.

For more details about this insurance plan and what it covers, visit the DSU website.

Seeking Services in BC

Seeking medical support in a new country can be challenging. Generally, international students go to either a walk-in clinic or a hospital (Emergency Room) when they require a medical attention. See the chart below to find out when you should go to a clinic or a hospital.

Walk-in Clinic

You should visit a clinic if you need to see a doctor, but the situation is not urgent or does not require immediate attention.



  • Colds and flus
  • Minor injuries (cuts, sprains etc.)
  • Routine check-up


Most clinics are by walk-in basis and do not require an appointment. It is on a first come, first serve basis.


For immediate medical attention, go to the Emergency Room at a hospital.


The closest hospital to Douglas College New Westminster Campus is:


Royal Columbian Hospital

330 E Columbia St

New Westminster, BC V3L 3W7

Phone: 604-520-4253


The closest hospital to Douglas College David Lam Campus is:


Eagle Ridge Hospital

475 Guildford Way

Port Moody, BC V3H 3W9

Tel: 604-461-2022


Bring your MSP card or Private Insurance Card. If you have a private insurance, you must pay the fees by yourself in advance and submit a claim for reimbursement. If you do not have a medical insurance coverage, you must pay the medical services fees in FULL by yourself.

Contact Information

Have questions or need more information?