Health Care and Medical Services
Here you will find information about how to access health care services as well as links to multi-lingual health information.
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Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)
In Canada the cost of most medically necessary services is paid for by the government. In order to receive OHIP coverage, you need to apply for an OHIP Card as soon as you arrive in Ontario. Find more information about eligibility and how to apply here.
You need to wait three months before you can use your health card in Ontario. Therefore, it is advised that you purchase private health insurance within the three months after your arrival. Click here for more information.
However, if you need health care services and do not have private insurance during the three months after your arrival, you can contact a community health centre (see below) to ask if they can provide you with health care.
Financial assistance for the cost of medication
The Trillium Drug Program provides financial assistance for residents of Ontario (with a valid OHIP card) who have high prescription drug costs relative to their household income. It covers all drugs approved under the Ontario Drug Benefit program (ODB). For drug products that are not on the list of approved ODB products, your doctor may apply for special approval through the Exceptional Access Program (EAP).
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There are many places where you can find information about the public (government-funded) health care system in Ontario.
This website provides information for newcomers to Ontario on a variety of health-related topics, including:
- How to apply for a health (OHIP) card
- How to find a doctor or medical professional
- Community and public health services
- Mental health and addictions
- Emergency medical services
- Nutrition and healthy living
- Sexual and reproductive health
- Family health
- Refugee health
- Patients’ rights and responsibilities
Some of the information has been translated into more than 30 languages
In My Language offers similar information about health in over 11 languages.
This government website offers information about health care and health insurance for newcomers to Ontario, as well as links to related websites.
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In Canada, it is important to have a Family doctor, sometimes called a G.P. or ‘General Practitioner’. Family doctors offer medical services through private practice (no cost with an OHIP card) or at community health centres. If you are sick, and if it is not an emergency, you should make an appointment to see your Family doctor. It is also normal to schedule an annual ‘check-up’ or ‘physical’ examination with your Family doctor.
Health Care Connect is a service that can help you to find a Family doctor.
To register with the Health Care Connect program, call 1-800-445-1822. You will need a pen, some paper and your OHIP card when you call. You can also register for Health Care Connect online.
Information about Health Care Connect is available in 26 languages.
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Community Health Centres (CHCs) are the only primary health care model in Ontario offering primary health care services for individuals AND a wide range of other health promotion and community development programs in one place. For more information about Community Health Centres, visit the Association of Ontario Health Centres’ website.
To find a Community Health Centre in Toronto West, use the Service Directory (apply the ‘Health & Counseling’ category) or review the information listed here:
Black Creek Community Health Centre
2202 Jane Street, Unit 5
Toronto, ON M3M 1A4
1 Yorkgate Boulevard, Unit 202
Toronto, ON M3N 3A1
On-call services (24 hours/day, 7 days/week): 416-249-8000
Lakeshore Area Multi-Service Project Community Health Centre (LAMP CHC)
South Etobicoke Location
185 – 5th Street
Etobicoke, ON M8V 2Z5
Rexdale Community Health Centre
8 Taber Road
Etobicoke, ON M9W 3A4
John Garland Satellite Location
21 Panorama Court, Unit 3,
Etobicoke, ON M9V 4N4
Stonegate Community Health Centre
Central/South Etobicoke Location
150 Berry Road
Etobicoke, ON M8Y 1W3
Unison Health & Community Services
1541 Jane Street
Toronto, ON M9N 2R3
Website: http://unisonhcs.org (multilingual)
Access Alliance Multicultural Community Health Centre
AccessPoint on Jane
761 Jane Street, 2nd floor
Toronto, ON M6N 4C4
Non-Insured Walk-In Clinic (no appointment or OHIP card needed)
761 Jane Street, 2nd floor
Mondays: 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Thursdays: 4:00 pm to 7:30pm
A note about health care services for uninsured newcomers:
You need to apply for an OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) Card as soon as you arrive in Ontario. Because you need to wait three months before you can use your OHIP card, it is advised that you purchase private health insurance during this three month wait time.
However if you need health care services and do not have private insurance during the three months after your arrival, you can contact a community health centre to ask if they can provide you with health care.
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In Ontario, the cost of dental care services (visits to the dentist, dental cleaning, orthodontics, etc.) is not covered under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). You can purchase private insurance to help cover some of the cost of dental care, or you may be eligible for free dental care.
Free Dental Care – City of Toronto
Toronto Public Health provides free dental care. Dental clinics are located at convenient locations across the city. For more information and to find out if you are eligible for services, visit the website.
Healthy Smiles Ontario
Healthy Smiles Ontario is a program for children 17 years and younger who do not have access to any form of dental coverage. If your family is eligible, your children will get regular dental services at no cost to you. For more information about the program, visit the website.
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The Ontario Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care provides multilingual fact sheets on various health topics:
Toronto Public Health has developed health fact sheets in multiple languages (see the menu on the left side of the Toronto Public Health home page). Topics include:
- Bed bugs
- Dental health
- Depression and anxiety after birth
- Environmental health
- Healthy eating
- Heat alerts
- Immunization and vaccines
- Injury prevention
- Introducing solid food to your infant
- Physical activity
You can access the full A-Z list of topics on the Toronto Public Health website here.
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Toronto Public Health provides information on their website about a variety of health related topics for parents:
- At Home Alone
- Bicycle Safety Tips
- Car Seats and Child Passenger Safety
- Dental Services (including information about free Dental Care for children 0-17 years)
- Early Child Development & Early Identification
- Health Babies Health Children
- Immunization Information (Click here for information on how to update your child’s immunization record)
- Injury Prevention Program
- Kids Have Stress Too!
- Parenting (Including information about parenting programs for parents of children aged 6 weeks to 6 years)
- Peer Nutrition Program (Healthy eating for children 6 months to 6 years)
- Safer Home for Safer Children
- Teens, alcohol and marijuana: Stay a step ahead