The Northwest Territories, Canada’s most populated territory, has a healthcare system that parallels that of other territories and provinces in Canada. Let’s take a high-level look at the Northwest Territories’ healthcare system today, so you know what kind of care you can expect to receive during your time here.





Healthcare in the Northwest Territories is administered the Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services (HSS). The department is responsible for the general administration of health care and policy development in the territory.


The Northwest Territories Health Care Plan

HSS offers provincial health care plans that provide residents of the Northwest Territories with coverage for medically-required healthcare services delivered by doctors and at hospitals in the territory. There are no premiums associated with these health care plans. In general, to be eligible, you must be a Canadian or permanent resident who makes a permanent residence in the Northwest Territories and is present in the territory at least six months out of the calendar year.

If you’re a frequent traveler within Canada, don’t worry! HSS provides coverage not just in the Northwest Territories, but also in the rest of Canada. All you have to do is present your health card. Outside of Canada, be aware that while coverage is provided for emergency healthcare, coverage is only provided up to the amount of equivalent service in Canada, or what is billed, whichever is less. As medical expenses outside of Canada can be significantly more expensive, you may end up with a large bill. When travelling abroad, always keep medical travel insurance in mind!


Prescription Drug Program

Under limited circumstances, prescription drug assistance is available to eligible individuals. Seniors and those with specific conditions are the primary candidates for eligibility. If you qualify for Extended Health Benefits (EHB), some or all of your prescription drug costs will be covered by the Alberta Blue Cross, a private insurance company that administers the drug plan for Health and Social Services.


Other Services

Most surgical procedures are undertaken in Yellowknife, although certain special procedures may require medical relocation to Edmonton in Alberta. In general, HSS has special provisions and contingency procedures in place for various medical needs, so you have nothing to worry about. Today, we’ve only touched on the basics of healthcare in the Northwest Territories. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the Northwest Territories healthcare system, you’re already in the right place with Novus. Find us here! We wish you the best of health!