Finding a Doctor in Canada

How to go about finding a family doctor or a clinic in Canada...

In Canada, it is normal to register with a family doctor (or a particular surgery) who will then be responsible for the person's healthcare. It is advised that this be done soon after arriving in Canada as finding a doctor who is accepting new patients can be difficult in some urban areas. Doctors can be found by referrals or by contacting provincial colleges of physicians and surgeons, who can help patients find doctors accepting new patients.

  • The Caring for Kids website has contact details of provincial colleges and organisations which can assist in finding a family doctor

Doctors can also be found through listings in the Yellow Pages and local telephone books but it can sometimes take up to a month or two to find a doctor accepting new patients. There are some walk-in clinics available who will accept all patients with a health care card. Wait times vary and can be up to a couple of hours, but walk-in clinics are often open longer in the evenings and during weekends. Clinics are listed in the Yellow Pages.

Doctors are the main point of contact for all patients' healthcare issues (unless they opt for walk-in clinics, in which case they may not necessarily see the same doctor). Doctors then refer patients to specialists or hospitals for further treatment when necessary.

24 hour pharmacies are available in large towns and cities across Canada. Find details in the local telephone book or yellow pages.

Private Clinics

As Canada has a good public healthcare system, Canadians will generally use publicly funded doctors’ surgeries. Private clinics do exist and are increasing in number:these are often used for the convenience of reduced waiting times to see specialists or to undergo 'routine' surgery, such as a knee operation.

Further Information