A family doctor can also be referred to as a general practitioner
or family physician
. Family doctors are usually the first doctors to diagnose and treat most medical problems. If you need to see a specialist doctor, your family doctor must refer you.
There are a number of ways to find a family doctor in Ontario:
- Speak with one of our counselors who will be able to find you a doctor
- Talk to family and friends, and ask if their doctor is accepting new patients
- Register with Health Care Connect. They will refer you to a family doctor or nurse practitioner who is accepting new patients. (Note: you must have OHIP in order to be eligible for this service.) To register, call: 1-800-445-1822.
- Use the Doctor Search Service: call 416-967-2626
- Check the Yellow Pages or your local hospital
- College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario will help you search a doctor.
Even if you do not have a family doctor, there are many ways to get medical assistance:
- In emergencies, go to the Emergency Unit at the nearest hospital or call 911
- Go to a walk-in clinic (but be prepared to wait for the doctor to see you)
- You may be eligible to use a Community Health Centre even if you do not have OHIP
- Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. A nurse will answer your questions about health concerns or symptoms, and advise you as to what steps you should take. You may have to wait on the line before a nurse answers your call.