Many Canadians have a family doctor they go to whenever they need medical care. A family doctor gives basic health care, including treating you when you are sick and encouraging preventative health care. This means that they will do tests so that problems can be found and treated early before you get sick (for example, blood tests, blood pressure checks and pap smears). Your family doctor will send you to see a specialist when needed.
You may be able to find a doctor by:
- asking someone you know
- contacting an immigrant-serving organization
- contacting a community health centre (or a Centre local de services communautaires in Quebec) in your area to learn when a doctor is available
You can also go to a walk-in medical clinic where you can usually see a doctor without an appointment.
In Canada, health services are provided in a confidential manner. This means that your doctor cannot discuss your health information with someone else without your permission.
You can find a dentist by looking online or asking someone you know. It is generally not a problem to find a dentist who is taking new patients.
Remember: dental care is not covered by free government health insurance. However, you can get supplementary insurance to cover your dental care.
If you need urgent medical help, go to the emergency department of the nearest hospital or call 911.
It is free to call 911. All emergency medical services are free in hospitals. Depending on the province or territory and the situation, you might have to pay for ambulance services.
Ask your doctor if you should carry medical information with you on a medical necklace or bracelet if you have a serious medical condition, such as:
- high blood pressure
- allergies to medication
In case of an emergency, carrying that information would be useful to health professionals.
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