Health Insurance & Accessing Health Care Services

Health Insurance

At CBU, all international students are required to have health insurance coverage through our group Guard.Me. This plan is mandatory and provides comprehensive medical, dental and vision coverage. The policy year runs from September 1 to August 31. If you’re starting university at a different time of year, you’ll still be added to the plan, but the cost of your plan will be pro-rated.

Using your Health Card

Make sure to show your health insurance card before receiving treatment from any health care provider. If you have MSI, you must also present your MSI card. If you don’t show your card when you visit a healthcare provider, they may require you to pay them directly. Since this can be very expensive, we recommend printing out your health insurance card and keeping it with you. If you have health insurance, but are asked to pay when you receive service at a health care provider, you can submit a claim to the insurance company for the amount that’s covered by your plan. The insurance company will return some or all of the money you paid, depending on the service and coverage in your plan.

Where do I get my insurance card?

Health cards will arrive in your CBU email inbox.  The International Advisors office will email all students to notify you when your card has arrived. Should you need to see a doctor before you receive your card, please contact an International Student Advisor.

How much is the plan?

The cost of the plan is $744.00 for individual coverage.

If you wish to have coverage for your family in Canada you must visit the International Student & Study Abroad Centre to complete the application no later than September 30. Once approved by the insurer, coverage will begin at a cost of $744.00 per family member.

Click here to learn about mobileDOCTOR by Guard.Me

Medical Services Insurance (MSI)

If you have been residing in Nova Scotia for 12 consecutive months and you have not left the province for more than 31 consecutive days, you may be eligible for provincial medical insurance known as MSI. An MSI card is available to Nova Scotia residents and provides medical and hospital care free of charge. Please note that this is not an extended health coverage plan so prescription drugs, etc. are not covered. You will continue to require your extended benefits plan (DSU Health and Dental Plan).

Getting your provincial health card

To obtain an application and determine your eligibility, please call the MSI office at 902-496-7008. After answering a few questions, you will be sent an application by mail. You must return the application by mail, with a copy of your study permit. Then an MSI card will be sent to you directly.

Annual renewal of MSI coverage

Once you are eligible for provincial medical coverage (MSI) you must apply for it annually as your card has an expiry date. You will be asked to prove that you have not left the province for more than 31 consecutive days (in addition to other requirements). This program which is provided by the Government of Nova Scotia is subject to change without notice

Health Care in Canada


Max Bell Health Centre (Located on campus, beside Subway: A physician, nurse and physiotherapist are located on site. The hours of operation are 8:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. with the exception of 12:30 p.m – 1:00 p.m. If you need to see the physician, please make an appointment by visiting the office or calling 902-563-1359.

Services include:

  • Health counselling and education
  • Medicals (subject to fee)
  • Sexual health education
  • Birth control information and emergency contraception (subject to fee)
  • HIV education and testing (subject to fee)
  • STI education and testing (subject to fee)
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Free condoms
  • Injections (B12, immunizations, Depo Provera, allergy)
  • First Aid
  • Dressing and wound care
  • Blood pressure and glucose monitoring
  • Physiotherapy services
  • Nursing information
  • Diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of medical conditions.

Dr. Kodagoda Walk-In Clinic
185 Bentick Street, Sydney
Open Sundays 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Phone: 902-539-0078

Sydney Walk-In Clinic
196 King’s Road, Sydney
Phone: 902-567-0010

Medical Clinic at Lawtons Pharmacy
540 George Street, Sydney
Open Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Glace Bay Walk-In Clinic
35 Sterling Road, Glace Bay
Open Tuesday-Thursday 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Phone: 902-849-4601

Dr. Mohan S. Virick Walk-In Clinic
336 King’s Road, Sydney
Open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 6:30a.m. to the first 50 patients.
Also open Wednesday 8:00 a.m. – 1:00p.m.
Phone: 902-539-6049


In the case of an emergency, please visit your local emergency room or dial 9-1-1. Please note that emergency rooms are for emergencies only such as high fever, extreme sickness, broken bones, chest pains or severe pain. Emergency rooms can have long wait times, so please take this into consideration.

Only dial 9-1-1 in the case of an emergency requiring immediate action.

Cape Breton Regional Hospital Emergency Room
1482 George Street, Sydney

Glace Bay Emergency Room
300 South Street, Glace Bay

New Waterford Emergency Room
716 King Street, New Waterford

If you are unsure whether your situation is an emergency or non-emergency, or you require medical advice on a situation, you can dial 811 to speak to a registered nurse at any time.

Additional Services

Counselling services are available to all students of Cape Breton University.  Our counsellor, Helen Luedee is located in the Learning Commons and Student Life Centre. Appointments to meet with our counsellor can be made by contacting Angela MacKinnon at 902-563-1639 or via email at

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