Visiting the Doctor in Canada



Canada’s publicly funded healthcare is available to those who have a permanent residency status which is administered by each province.

Provinces such as British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick have a three-month waiting period to be eligible for the health insurance. With the waiting time, it is still best to purchase an international health insurance for any medical emergencies.

Immigrants are advised to apply immediately for the health card upon arrival. Forms are available at hospitals and pharmacies; and since it is a provincial responsibility, forms can be downloaded from the official provincial website.

Once approved, each family member will receive a health card which lists personal information such as name, address, gender, and birth date.

With your health card, you will not need to pay for basic or emergency medical care including visiting a doctor, consulting nurse practitioner, medical specialist service like gynaecologist or psychiatrist as ordered by your doctor, hospital treatment and tests as required by your attending physician.

Doctors in Canada

Finding a suitable General Practitioner or Physician for the family may take weeks or months. Ask for recommendations from immigrant-serving organisations, family, friends, neighbours or co-workers.

Refer to the Yellow Pages or a local directory for the list of health professionals and clinics near your area. One can also search for the provincial medical association online.