Playing Your Cards Right

Ministry of Government Services

Date: 2008

A run of bad luck prompted a man to call the Ombudsman’s Office: He had lost his wallet, and was waiting for a replacement birth certificate to arrive from the Office of the Registrar General (ORG). 

Then he had an accident and required surgery – but his health card had expired and the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) told him he couldn’t get a new one without a birth certificate.

Our staff found out from the ORG that the man’s birth certificate application had been stalled because of some missing information, which we asked him to provide immediately. 

Meanwhile, we determined that OHIP did not need a birth certificate to renew his health coverage, as it was already on file – all he needed to provide was proof of his identity and residence. 

The man received both documents shortly thereafter.