Renewing a Health Card in Ontario Why the online process is broken
Step 1:I Google “how to renew a health card.” Two links appear that look relevant to mysearch, and I trust that I’m headed in the right direction because the governmentshould understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and have the most relevantlinks appear for my search.
Step 2:I click on the top link and come to this page. So far, so good…
Step 3:I want to fill out the forms and make sure I have the right documentation before Ivisit the ServiceOntario centre. But when I try to click on the links in steps 2 and 3…
Step 4:I am told “Page Not Found” – the links are dead.
Step 5:I return to the previous page and click on the ServiceOntario link.
Step 6:I come to this page, and click on the “questions and answers page” because it saysI’ll be able to figure out “what documents to bring.”
Step 7:Hmm. I’m still looking to renew a Health Card - for the form and for the proof ofidentity documents. I look through the list of FAQs, and I don’t see anything relatedspecifically to a renewal, like what I found on the previous site. The first question,“How do I get an Ontario health card?” is the closest, so I take my chances.
Step 8:Okay, same information as what I found on the previous site. Sigh. But likely I’m onthe right page now, and the links to the form and document list will work…
Step 9:I get to a page about the original documents form.
Other issues• When I contacted ServiceOntario via Twitter, I was told the links on the original page were fixed, when in fact I was sent a different link. The links in the page that comes up when one searches Google are still broken. – Link ServiceOntario sent where form links work: http://health.gov.on.ca/en/public/publications/ohip/r enew.aspx – Link from Google where form links are broken: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/ohip /renew.html
Other issues, cont’d…• To make matters worse, when I clicked “Complete a Health Card Renewal” in step 2 again, I came to a page with a list of links to the form that were all broken! I tweeted ServiceOntario again, and in the course of writing this, they came back online. http://health.gov.on.ca/en/publi c/forms/ohip_fm.aspx
Conclusion• The web site isn’t well managed. This isn’t the first time I had this issue. I went looking for this information a month ago and the links were dead then, and I thought it was an anomaly.• It shouldn’t have taken me 10 click-throughs/steps, plus all of the aggravation and uncertainty, to find the information I need. I assume this is a pretty standard request that should be more front and centre.• SEO needs to be properly administered to ensure Canadians are getting the right links when they search for the information.• I am a university educated communications specialist and my husband is an environmental engineer. We went through this process to renew our 16-year-old son’s Health Card. If we couldn’t figure it out, how could an elderly person who isn’t familiar with the internet, or a young person, or someone with mediocre to poor literacy skills?