The healthcare system in Canada is regarded highly, the country being home to a number of leaders in their fields. As the regional center for healthcare, London has some of the best medical facilities, boasting a sizable collection of hospitals and care units, including specialist family centers.
All Canadian residents, and those living in London on a permanent residence permit, are entitled to public health insurance. Paid through the tax system, this medical insurance essentially renders all medical services covered, provided you present your personal medical health card. Like all provinces and territories, London has its own health insurance plan. Cover differs between localities, and restrictions can apply depending on your immigration status, so it is essential to take note of exactly what your public insurance covers. Make sure you take out a private policy if necessary to cover the shortfall.
Renowned for the quality of education, London offers expats a veritable feast of options when it comes to schooling, and boasts the highest ranking academic school in Ontario. The curriculum in each institute is governed by four school boards, two English and two French. Furthermore, there are twenty private schools in the city, including an International Academy for expat kids living in London, Ontario.
The London schooling system operates a standard elementary and secondary school format. Children who choose to progress into further education within the city can choose between the University of Western Ontario (UWO) or the applied arts and technology institute at Fanshawe College. Very well regarded, UWO ranked in the top ten universities in the country in 2008 while Fanshawe offers apprenticeships and part-time courses.
Canada is generally a very safe country to live in, with crime rates at a similar level to those of the 1970s. The homicide rate in London is slightly above the national average, but at less than two victims per 100,000 people, it is markedly lower than that of other bustling cities of a similar size. Incidents of violent crime, breaking and entering, and theft have all fallen noticeably in the last decade.
Of course, there are still suburbs to be avoided. Some of the downtown areas are a little run down and can feel rather sketchy, particularly at night. Districts east of Adelaide also have a pretty poor reputation. But, as with any city of this size, you can avoid the worst safety issues by taking reasonable precautions. Be aware of the people around you and stick to well-lit streets if you are walking alone.