Monday, February 8, 2010


I think I'm coming down with a cold. I've been coughing like crazy all day. It has been a long time since I've had a cold - almost a year, I think. Obviously, I'd prefer to not be sick, but such is life.

Speaking of health, my health card is set to expire in a couple of months.

For those of you outside of Canada, this is the card that needs to be presented for doctors visits, blood tests, etc. It's how the province knows who to pay, basically.

In Ontario, there are two types - the old cards, which last forever, and the new cards, which have to be renewed every 5 years. I originally had an old card, but I had to get a new card when they were still attempting to move everyone to the new cards. The new card has a picture - the old one doesn't.

Anyway, 5 years ago (and 10 years ago) when I had to renew my card, I picked a slow Friday afternoon, drove downtown, and got my picture taken. The process (not counting the driving) took about 20 minutes.

You can't do that anymore. Now, you need to make an appointment online and then show up in your designated 15-minute period. Oddly, there doesn't appear to be an office downtown anymore - I was given the choice of one in Kanata (i.e. west Ottawa), one in Kemptville (30 minutes south), or else ones in the Toronto area.

I tried to book an appointment in Kanata, but their first available appointment was in March. I went back and chose the Kemptville option. My appointment is on Wednesday - assuming, of course, that I'm not too sick. I have no objections to appearing sick in the picture, but I'm not going to drive if I can't keep my eyes open.


  1. That's just bananas. I can't believe there isn't an office downtown. Have fun in lovely Kemptville!

  2. I still think I must have missed some of the options. Do people who live in Orleans seriously have to go to Kanata for their health card? It's impractical - especially for people who rely on the bus.