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Service Eligibility

This section outlines who is eligible for the different types of services available for Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing.

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Eligible individuals

Which health care services are Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing patients eligible to receive communication access for (interpreters, CART, etc.)?

To receive services, patients and designates must be residents of B.C. and enrolled with the Medical Services Plan (MSP). 

Eligible services include those under:

What if the patient is not a resident of B.C.?

If a Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing patient is not a resident of B.C. and is covered by another provincial medical plan in Canada, the patient can receive interpreting service for eligible health care appointments in B.C.  

Patients from out of the country are not eligible for this service.

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Eligible services

To assist you in assessing your eligibility, the section is categorized by where you will receive the care you require.

  • Medically required services provided by a physician or nurse practitioner enrolled with MSP
  • Maternity care provided by a physician or a midwife
  • Annual eye examinations for children aged 0 to 18 and seniors aged 65+
  • Medically required eye examinations provided by an ophthalmologist or optometrist for adults aged 19 to 64
  • Diagnostic services, including lab work and x-ray, provided at approved diagnostic facilities when ordered by a registered physician, midwife, podiatrist, dental surgeon or oral surgeon
  • Mental health services offered by a health authority (visit your regional health authority website for programs and services)
  • Public health services, e.g immunization (visit your regional health authority website for details)
  • Substance use and detox services across the province (public and private) [intervenor and CART services not provided]
  • Substance use recovery support groups (e.g. Narcotics Anonymous, SMART Recovery groups and ongoing programs) [intervenor and CART services not provided]
  • Ambulance service (911 ambulance transport (ground or air), inter-hospital transfers, inter-facility transfers)
  • Diagnostic services, including lab work, x-ray
  • Emergency room visits
  • Dental and oral surgery, when medically required to be performed in the hospital
  • Ambulatory care (visit your regional health authority website for details)
  • In-patient care
  • Medical educational workshops for patients referred by physicians (e.g. diabetes education, post-knee surgery education)
  • Family conference – family meeting with health care providers
  • Acute mental health service
  • Rehabilitation and occupational therapy
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Home and community care, e.g. community nurse (visit your regional health authority website for which services and service providers are included)
  • End of life care
  • Medical assistance in dying (MAiD)
  • Service is provided for facilities that are owned and operated by a B.C. health authority (visit your regional health authority website for a list).
  • Medical assistance in dying (MAiD) 

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Services not covered

There are some areas where we are unable to provide services.

  • Health fairs
  • Support groups (for example, a mindfulness session)
  • Pre-natal classes (unless provided and covered by the physician/midwife or if organized by the health authority)
  • Services that are deemed to be not medically required, e.g. cosmetic surgery
  • Dental services, except as outlined under benefits
  • Routine eye examinations for persons 19 to 64 years of age
  • Acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, naturopathy, physical therapy and non-surgical podiatry services (except for MSP beneficiaries receiving supplementary benefits)
  • Medical examinations, certificates or tests required for:
    • driving a motor vehicle
    • employment
    • life insurance
    • school or university
    • recreational and sporting activities
    • immigration purposes
Private sector services that patients are paying for directly where the service is not covered by MSP.

  • Psychiatry services (doctors and nurses)
  • Psychologist services
  • Community care
  • Residential treatment programs
  • Private bed in long-term care
  • Naturopath
  • Private surgery

Visit the Government of British Columbia American Sign Language page for more information on how to book sign language interpreters for other services that Provincial Language Services do not cover.

SOURCE: Service Eligibility ( )
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