The Ontario government said in a media release on Wednesday that people who have yet to renew their health cards can still use their expired cards if needed up until Sept, 30.
However, the process to receive a new health card may be a longer wait then expected due to COVID-19.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, many government official identifications like drivers licenses, passports, etc.. have been backed up and are unable to get anything renewed.
“This process is longer if the cardholder belongs to one of the groups who is eligible to renew through the conventional mail,” said Anna Miller, Senior Communications Advisor.
“As a result of this dramatically increased traffic as well as significant delays.”
Rosemarie Mohabir, who lives in Malton, Ont., and who has an expired health card, told Humber News it’s a very long process for something she thought would be quick.
“Before we use to renew our health cards and I would see it in the mail after three weeks of ordering, I didn’t think ordering one now would take longer than a month,” she said.
Miller also said that there have been many delays for people renewing a new health card, and that some are still waiting from this past summer.
“In autumn 2021 the Ministry of Health began to renew nearly 2 million cards that had expired but were extended during the pandemic,” she said.
“Delays were experienced for many cardholders who renewed between August 2021 and January 2022.”
Mohabir expressed that even though the wait is extremely long and tiring, she’s still glad she can use her expired health card in the meantime.
“It’s better than not having any card at all, just in case of emergencies I can still use the old one I have got.”
Miller still encourages other Ontario residents to sign up for a health card renewal.
“We encourage cardholders to renew their cards in advance of the expiry date so that they do not experience difficulties obtaining services at medical facilities.”
Ontario’s press release also said that anyone who needs a renewal can do it online or through any Service Ontario location.