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.
If you have urgent medical conditions that are not considered life-threatening emergencies but want to see a doctor without delay, you can go to a walk-in clinic without an appointment or referral.
A walk-in clinic is a health facility that provides medical care to non-emergent, acute and episodic medical conditions, e.g flu, ear pain, urinary tract infection, food poisoning, red eye, cuts and bruises, skin rashes, etc.
Walk-in Clinics in Canada are usually staffed by doctors and nurses. Doctors can diagnose and treat minor illnesses and injuries, prescribe medications or medical tests. Some clinics have basic testing on site such as blood work, X-rays. If necessary, the doctor can refer you to other health facilities for further treatment or diagnostic tests.
There are limits of the services that walk-in clinics can offer. If you have emergent medical conditions that are severe or life-threatening, you should go to a hospital emergency department immediately.
If you need chronic care such as managing diabetes or hypertension, it’s better to register at a family doctor’s practice where you can see the same doctor for follow up.
Opening hours of walk-in clinics vary by clinic. You can phone the clinic to confirm opening time before you go. Some clinics open during normal business hours e.g. 9am-5pm during the week. Some clinics are open with extended hours e.g. 8am-8pm, many stay open during weekends and public holidays.
Walk-in clinics usually do not require an appointment. You can go and wait to see a doctor on a first come, first serve basis. Waiting time at the walk-in clinics can be between a few minutes to half an hour. If the clinic is particularly busy, you might need to wait for an hour or longer.
Many Canadians use walk-in clinics when they don’t have a family doctor or cannot get a timely appointment with their family doctor. Foreign visitors can also use walk-in clinic services, you are expected to pay for treatment at the time of service.
Usually doctors will charge foreign visitors and non-residents the rates set for private patients. Depending on the provinces, physician consultation fees at walk-in clinics can be between CA$50 to $200 per visit. You may have to pay extra for x-ray, tests, procedures, and medication, etc.
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.
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.
There are many walk-in clinics in Canada’s cities and towns. These clinics are conveniently located to serve residents in the communities. Some family doctor practices offer walk-in services during regular business hours both to their registered patients and private patients.
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.
You can use Medimap website to locate walk-in clinics near you with wait times information.
You can also access provincial health authorities’ online directories to search for hospitals and clinics.