Health Care Coverage

The Canada Health Act ensures that all residents have access to hospital and physician services based on need, not their ability to pay. The NWT Health Care Plan covers basic hospital and medical treatment, meaning there will not be a fee for you to visit the hospital, health centre or medical clinic for treatment.

A person must be a resident of the NWT to be eligible for NWT health care. If you have been living here for more than 3 months you are considered a resident and are eligible for NWT health care.

You will need to apply for a NWT Health Care Card. To apply, pick up a form at a hospital, health clinic or health centre, or call 1-800-661-0830.

Important Tips 

If you moved to the NWT from elsewhere in Canada and you have health care coverage in another province or territory, that province or territory will continue to provide you coverage during the 3 month waiting period before you become eligible for NWT health care coverage.

If you are a citizen of another country and intend to make the NWT your home, please provide a copy of a valid immigration document issued by Immigration Canada when applying for a Health Care Card.

If you are in Canada on a Work Permit, Study Permit or another immigration document, please contact the Health Services Administration Office by telephone:


The NWT Health Care Coverage Plan does not provide coverage for extended health benefits such as:

  • Medicine;
  • Eyeglasses;
  • Dental services; or
  • Medical supplies.

However, you may be eligible for extended health benefits through your employer. Talk to your employer for more information on this.

If you are not for eligible extended health benefits through your employer, or do not have coverage during the 3 month waiting period for NWT health care, there are private insurance companies that offer coverage for extended health benefit services.

Learn more about private insurance companies by searching online.

For additional information regarding NWT Health Care Coverage, click here

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Health Care Facilities

Stanton Territorial Hospital, located in Yellowknife, is the major health and referral centre for the NWT.

There is also a regional hospital in Inuvik. Most other communities in the NWT have local health centres and clinics that can be contacted if you need to see a health professional.

For contact information for these facilities, click here.

Accessing Health Care Services

Health and Social Services, a department of the Government of the Northwest Territories, is responsible for the health and well-being of the people of the north.

They provide services that include:

  • treating those who are ill and those who have psychical, emotional or mental health problems;
  • providing counseling services and caring for those who require support for social or health issues;
  • protecting people from abuse, illness and disease; and
  • promoting healthy living and lifestyle choices.

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Booking an appointment

If you need to be seen by a health care professional you can set up an appointment by calling the health clinic in your community. You can expect that there will probably be a wait time of a few days or more.

Same-day appointments

In Yellowknife and in the larger regional centres you can get a same-day appointment with a health professional by calling in the morning when the clinic first opens. Appointments are booked on a first-come

first-served basis and there are a limited number of same-day appointments available so it is important to call as soon as the clinic opens.

Walk-in Clinics

If you are in Yellowknife and need to see a doctor but do not have an appointment, there are two walk in clinics.

These clinics are first-come first-served and you will have to call ahead or wait in line to be seen by a doctor.

Emergency Care

If you live in Yellowknife or a larger regional centre and you require immediate or urgent care, you can go to a hospital emergency room and receive care there.

Clients are treated in order based on the severity of their needs and how long they have been waiting.

NWT Help Line

FREE and confidential support by a counselor is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week through the NWT Help Line. Issues such as abuse, depression, suicidal thoughts or stress management can all be discussed.

Call the NWT Help Line toll free at any time 1-800-661-0844 or click here to learn more.

The NWT Community Counselling Program helps people deal with a variety of issues including family violence, mental health issues and addictions.

It is available for free to every NWT resident, in every region of the NWT. For more information, click here

Other Health-Related Services

There are other health services that are not offered by Health and Social Services or covered under the NWT Health Care plan:

Dental Clinics are located in Yellowknife, Hay River, Norman Wells and Inuvik. Click here to view the address and telephone number for each clinic.

Naturopathic Health Clinics are located in Yellowknife:

Massage Therapists in your area can be found here.

Pet Health Services are offered through the two veterinary clinics located in Yellowknife:

There is also a mobile veterinary clinic (Alberta-based Mackenzie Veterinary Services Ltd.) which travels to Hay River, Fort Smith, Fort Simpson and Fort Providence.

In an Emergency

If you have a medical emergency, call 911.