Feeling sick today? If you are a newcomer in the country, you may panic a little and wonder what to do. Don’t worry, the system is really well organized, and if or when you get sick, you will be taken care of quickly.
At first you have to know where to go. If you have a family doctor, this is of course the first person that you should call to have an appointment. This is the easiest solution because your doctor already knows you and you can often arrange an appointment the same day or the day after, to avoid having to wait.
But if you don’t have a family doctor, you must go to the closest CLSC. To find the CLSC the closest to your home, you can visit this website. The CLSC is a walk-in clinic that operates on a first-come-first-served basis, so be ready to wait for a long time unless you’re able to arrive early. If you are severely injured or feel really bad, of course, you need to go to the hospital.
In every case, at the end of the consultation you don’t have to pay because you are covered by the health insurance; you just have to present your health insurance card (for example, your RAMQ card in Québec), or private insurance details if you’re not yet covered by your provincially-based Medicare system. For other medical needs, like dental care, most of the treatments are covered by insurance but some are not. You will find more information about dental care here, and for optometric services click here.
The health system in Canada is made to be as easy as possible. When you are covered by your provincial healthcare card, you will have almost nothing to pay, the only thing to know is where best to go when you are sick.