Health Care Options
When it comes to health care in Ontario, you have many options:
- non-emergency health care from a Community Health Centre
- ongoing health care from your family doctor or a Walk-in/After Hours Clinic if you don’t have a family doctor or if your doctor’s office is closed
- treatment for urgent, but non life-threatening illness or injury like sprains or strains, from an Urgent Care Centre
- urgent care by visiting the emergency room of a hospital close to you or by dialling 911, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for serious illness or injuries. Please note that the 911 service should only be used for emergency situations or when your security or life are threatened.
- health advice or general health information from a Registered Nurse any time of day, seven days a week, by calling Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or TTY 1-866-797-0007. Telehealth Ontario is available in English and French with translation support for 110 languages.
- health care via a two-way video system with Telemedecine clinic that allows you to consult a doctor if you live in a remote community and do not have easy access to medical care
- information about alcohol and drug, gambling and mental health services from ConnexOntario. Treatments for addictions and other mental health problems can also be obtained from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health with 26 locations throughout the province that provide communities with education and support for program development, health promotion and prevention.
Being care for in French
Use the Cliquez santé (in French) directory to find a service or a professional in the healthcare and social service fields in your area.
Use the Health Care Options Directory to identify your options and find the care you need.
Note: French Language Health Services networks, such as the French Language Health Services Network of Eastern Ontario and the Réseau francophone de Santé du Nord de l’Ontario, work in collaboration with stakeholders in the health care field to ensure that Francophones have access, in French, to the full range of quality health care services in their region.
|Remember! You must show your Health Card every time you see a doctor, nurse or any other health care provider.|
- Health services, Citizenship and Immigration Canada
- Immunization, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
- Programs and Services, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
- Multilingual Fact Sheets, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Get some information about:
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The family doctor is a generalist who takes care of your overall health and often the health of your family. You visit your family doctor when you are sick or to undergo routine medical tests. Your family physician takes care of your health problems taking into account your overall physical condition and medical history. Your doctor also records your condition in your medical file and can recommend a specific treatment, test or send you for a consultation with a specialist, if necessary. You need to make an appointment to visit your family doctor and bring your Health Card at every visit.
Family doctors only accept a limited number of patients. You may have difficulties finding a doctor who has room for new patients. The government of Ontario has created Health Care Connect, a program that can help you find a family doctor when you don’t already have one. Register online or by calling 1-800-445-1822. You need a valid Health Card to qualify to this program.
It is important, for your well-being and the one of your family, to carefully choose your family doctor. The Find a doctor tool of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario allows you to search for a doctor according to criteria that matter to you such as spoken language and sex. You can also use the Cliquez santé directory (in French), for health professionals who speak French.
If you don’t have a family doctor, you can visit a medical clinic that accepts patients without appointment. You can also go to a Community Health Centre for primary care services and to an Urgent Care Centre or the emergency room of a hospital near you for urgent treatments or other emergency situations.
- How can I find a family doctor? (available in several languages), Inmylanguage.org
- How do I choose a family doctor?, Settlement.org
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The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care provides high-quality patient services through a publicly-funded hospital system. There are presently 211 hospitals in Ontario. You can refer to this list to find a hospital near you or use the Ontario Hospital Association’s search tool Find a hospital near you.
Note: Montfort Hospital in Ottawa is the only Francophone hospital in Ontario.
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Your mental health can have a serious impact on your life, your family and your work. Mental health services are available from psychiatric facilities and some designated hospitals.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAHM) represents the largest Canadian health science centre devoted to addiction and mental health providing client-centred care and treatment programs to meet the diverse needs of people facing addiction and mental health challenges. CAMH’s main offices are located in Toronto with 12 home office locations and 16 satellite offices throughout Ontario.
Contact Connex Ontario for 24-hours toll-free, confidential, anonymous information about mental health services and programs in your area by dialing:
- 1-800-565-8603 for Drug and Alcohol Helpline that provides you with information about drug and alcohol treatment services in Ontario.
- 1-888-230-3505 for Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline that provides you with information about problem gambling treatment services in Ontario.
- 1-866-531-2600 for Mental Health Helpline that provides you with information about mental health services and supports in your community and across Ontario.
- Understanding Mental Illness, Canadian Mental Health Association
- Where can I get help with an addiction?, Settlement.org
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The Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP) doesn’t cover regular dental care given by your dentist or dental hygienist. You may be able to get coverage through your employer’s dental plan for these services. The government will however cover regular dental services for kids 17 and under who do not have access to any form of dental coverage and are eligible to the Healthy Smiles Ontario program. Reconstructions and other specified dental procedures done in hospitals can also be covered by OHIP.
Some target groups, such as the elderly and children, are offered free dental care at:
- public health offices in most cities in Ontario – Ask your local public health office about the services offered and their eligibility criteria.
- community health organizations – Search for 'dental care' in 211Ontario.ca directory to locate them.
You have access to low-cost dental procedures from teaching university dental clinics. The care is dispensed by dentistry students under the supervision of teaching staff. You may have to sign up a long time in advance as there are usually long waiting lists.
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Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP) covers a routine eye examination every twelve months for persons under 20 and those 65 and over, as well as patients aged 20 to 64 years with medical conditions affecting the eye, such as diabetes mellitus, glaucoma, cataract, retinal disease, amblyopia, visual field defects, corneal disease and strabismusdes. The cost of routine eye examinations by an optometrist or other doctor for patients aged 20 to 64 who do not suffer from any such condition must be paid by the patient or the patient’s insurance company. Collective health plans offered by employers usually cover these costs.
Click on the icon Find an optometrist for access to the Canadian Association of Optometrists’s directory or use the directory of French health professionals Cliquez santé to find an eye doctor close to you.