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The ultimate guide to the health care in Toronto: Everything you need to know

Recently, I went to the doctor. That's when I realized that after a long time in Toronto, I still hadn't done an article on medical care. I thought it would be a good time to introduce you to the various options available to you once you're in Toronto.


The OHIP card


This is Ontario's health card par excellence, so whatever your visa, you may be eligible. It gives you free access to a lot of care and benefits. I'll talk about it in one of my articles if you want to get one.


Family doctor


You'll need one if you want an easier foothold in Toronto, and I'd advise you to get one if you're staying for at least two years, as it's always easier than going to a clinic. Well, you may have heard that it's a bit of a hassle.... that's absolutely true, but here are the steps:

  1. Register with Accès Soin (Health Care connect)

  2. From there, you can go to a family doctor who accepts new patients if you know any, or wait for the center to call you back to assign a family doctor closest to your area.

  3. If the process still takes time, request an update on your file by calling +1 866 243 0061.

  4. Once you've been assigned one, you'll need to book a first appointment, during which the doctor will take stock of your medical history.



A family doctor


Walk-in Clinics


Basically, it's like going to the doctor but in a chain, you can either go directly to these clinics or make an appointment by phone. They're usually packed, and even if you turn up on time for your appointment, chances are you'll be caught a little late.

Please note that some of these clinics only accept cash for a visit. Each visit will cost you between $80 and $120, fully covered by OHIP (no need to pay in advance) if you have it. On the other hand, any medication prescribed will either have to be paid for in addition, or will be covered by your health insurance. All X-rays and examinations prescribed during this visit are also covered by the OHIP card.


Pharmacies


Once the doctor has given you a prescription, it's time to go to the pharmacy to pick up your medication. Compared to some countries, there are no pharmacies as such. Here's where you can get your prescription:

  • Inside some walk-in clinics, which have their own pharmacy.

  • At Rexall you should find a counter in one part of the store.

  • At Shoppers you should find a counter in one part of the store.



Medecine


Hassle free clinic


I'd already tried one, and they're really well done. These clinics give you free  screening for various diseases, including most STDs. They'll also help you with prevention, including contraceptive pills and pregnancy tests.... You'll find the list here.


Dentists


Easy to find throughout the city, OHIP does not reimburse fees for adults. However, if you have a health insurance plan, you will be reimbursed in part. If you don't have either, I can offer you a lower-cost option at the University of Toronto Dentists. I wrote an article about it.



Going to the dentist


Emergency or ER


If something serious happens to you, you'll need to go to the nearest hospital (or call 911). Once there, depending on the seriousness of your case, you'll have to wait more or less (a few hours for an injury that's not immediately life-threatening). Fortunately, all the care and medication you receive on admission to hospital is 100% covered by OHIP. For more information, visit this site.



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