Win for International Students' Access to Health Care in Nova Scotia, Further Action Still Needed
Win for International Students' Access to Health Care in Nova Scotia, Further Action Still Needed

KJIPUKTUK/HALIFAX- Today, the Nova Scotia Department of Advanced Education and the Department of Health and Wellness announced an update to regulations under the Health Services and Insurance Act (HSIA) to allow international students with a study permit and individuals with work permits to be absent from Nova Scotia for more than 31 consecutive days without losing their Nova Scotia Medical Services Insurance (MSI) coverage. 

International students in Nova Scotia are still not eligible for MSI until 13 months after their arrival to Nova Scotia, forcing them to purchase expensive private health care coverage. Prior to the newly announced update, international students could not leave the province for more than 31 days without resetting their wait for coverage. This meant that students who left the province or country to work during the summer term might never have qualified for MSI during their degree.

“Today’s announcement is an important win for international students in Nova Scotia,” says Kris Reppas, Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia (CFS-NS). “Students have been lobbying for this change for years and this really shows what students are able to accomplish when we work together. There is still more work to be done and we will keep fighting for fairness for international students.” 

CFS-NS International Student Representative Mohammad Ramezani adds: “Health care is a right. Although international students pay over twice as much in tuition fees as domestic students, we do not have access to the same services and supports as domestic students, including access to public health care upon arrival. We will celebrate today’s win, but continue to lobby for full access to health care for international students and migrants in Nova Scotia.”


The Canadian Federation of Students is the oldest and largest national student organization in Canada,

representing over 530,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students across the country.


Kris Reppas

Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia
902-797-1200 x230

Laura Cutmore

National Organizer, Canadian Federation of Students
902-797-1200 x231