Canada emergency number: 911
Canada has a universal publicly funded health care system. Canadian citizens and residents can access medically necessary hospital and physician services for free through their provincial public health programs.
International visitors and non-residents from other countries are not covered by Canada’s government health programs. You are expected to pay for health care in Canada out of your own pocket. Medical treatment can be very expensive without a proper health insurance coverage.
Atlas Travel Medical Insurance is a visitor health insurance policy designed to provide medical and travel benefits, as well as emergency travel assistance to international travelers. You get access to quality care and are protected against the costs that can incur from unexpected medical and travel emergencies.
More about Atlas Travel Medical Insurance Canada.
Canada’s primary care services are provided by family physicians or general medical practitioners. In some rural areas, primary care clinics may be run by nurse practitioners.
Family doctors can treat common acute diseases or minor injuries, manage chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, provide primary maternity care, routine check-ups, vaccination services, etc.
Family doctors can prescribe medicines, order diagnostic laboratory or imaging tests. In some cases, family doctors will refer patients to appropriate specialist doctors for further evaluation and treatment.
Family doctors usually treat patients with provincial health cards who are registered at their practices. Foreign visitors and non-residents may be treated as private patients. You need to schedule an appointment with a family doctor. Family doctor practices are usually busy, wait times for appointments vary between a few days to more than a week. Some practices do not accept new patients.
For serious or life-threatening situations, you should call an ambulance or go to a hospital emergency department for prompt treatment. If you have a non-emergent condition but want to see a doctor without delay, you can visit a walk-in clinic without an appointment.
Family doctor offices are open at normal business hours during the week. Outside of the office hours, during the weekend and public holidays, patients can visit after-hour clinics, walk-in clinics or hospital emergency departments to get urgent care.
Foreign visitors and non-residents in Canada are expected to pay for treatment at the time of service. A physician consultation may cost CA$50 ~ $200 depending on the clinic. There may be additional charges for lab tests, medication, or other procedure.
You should collect the health care provider’s name, address, original itemized bills that document what medical services are provided to you and the cost for each service. You can file a claim to Tokio Marine HCC-MIS to request reimbursement for eligible medical expenses you have paid.
Medical specialists are doctors who have undertaken required residency program to become specialists in a specific area of medicine, e.g. ophthalmologist for eye diseases, dermatologist for skin diseases, cardiologist for heart diseases, etc. Medical specialists provide specialized medical services at hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities.
If a patient has an acute or chronic condition that a primary care physician can not treat, the patient will be referred to a specialist doctor, or go straight to a specialist without referral.
For non-emergent condition, usually you need to make an appointment to see a medical specialist at a hospital outpatient clinic or a private clinic. In case of emergency, you can go directly to a hospital emergency department and be treated by specialist doctors there.
Fees for medical specialists vary depending on where you go. Physicians may bill private patients according to their own fee schedule. If you see a medical specialist at a doctor’s office, you may be charged around CA$150~$250 for a standard consultation. You can expect to pay CA$500~1,000 if you are treated by a medical specialist at hospital emergency department or outpatient clinic. You may have to pay extra for laboratory or radiology tests, procedures, and medication, etc.
Usually you will be required to pay at the time of service. You should collect the health care provider’s name, address, original itemized bills that document what medical services are provided to you and the cost for each service. You can file a claim to HCC-MIS to request reimbursement for eligible medical expenses you have paid.
Patients who are admitted to hospitals will be treated by medical specialists who provide inpatient care at the hospitals. More about hospital services in Canada.
Atlas travel medical insurance does not restrict your right to select the hospital, physician or other medical service provider. You can go to a doctor or hospital of your choice. You are not required to obtain a pre-approval before you visit a hospital or doctor.
Tokio Marine HCC-MIS Group has an International Provider Directory that you can use to search for hospitals and clinics in different countries. You are free to visit any licensed healthcare provider who are not listed in the directory. Canada’s provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons have physician directories that you can use to search for doctors near you.