What are community health centres?

Community Health Centres (CHCs) are non-profit organizations that provide primary health care for individuals, families and communities.

Services at CHCs help people in your community get health care and attend programs regardless of their life situation or financial status. CHCs deliver primary healthcare services combined with health promotion, illness prevention, and community education.

CHCs have teams of health professionals and often have other types of community support.

Community Health Centre teams can often include:

  • Chiropodists
  • Community Health Workers
  • Health Promoters
  • Midwives
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Nutritionists Or Dietitians
  • Physicians
  • Settlement Workers
  • Social Workers

Primary healthcare workers assess and treat non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses. They can make referrals to other local health services. If you are unsure if it is an urgent issue, contact Health811 to connect with a registered nurse for free, secure and confidential health advice.

Call 911 immediately or go directly to an Emergency Department if you have a medical emergency.

You do not need OHIP to access most services at your local CHC.

In addition to providing primary health care and clinical treatment, many CHCs have:

  • Anti-Racism and other programs to promote cultural diversity and inclusion
  • Counselling and group programs
  • Culturally inclusive care
  • Domestic violence prevention and treatment
  • Drop-in programs for youth
  • Parenting education and parent-child resource rooms
  • Prenatal programs
  • Services in different languages
  • Sexual health education
  • Support for addictions, conflict resolution, anger management, stress management
  • Support for teenage parents

Some CHCs offer immigrants and refugees health care, language and settlement programs.

Most services at CHCs are free. All services are confidential, and some tests may be anonymous.

You can find the Community Health Centre (CHC) in your community through the Ministry of Health’s website or by contacting Ontario 211 by phone, text, chat or email. You should contact the location to see if you need an appointment or if they accept walk-in visits.

For More Information

  • Health811 - You can call 811 for various health-related questions and concerns. From the Ontario Ministry of Health.
  • TheHealthLine.ca - This site can help you find health and community services in Ontario. From Community Care Access Centres.
  • Pharmacies - Learn about the health care services you can get through your local pharmacy. From the Ontario Ministry of Health.
  • Refugee Healthline - Refugee HealthLine is a free, multilingual service and part of Health811 that connects refugees and people arriving through other exceptional humanitarian authorizations to healthcare providers.
  • HNUC.org - Health Network for the Uninsured offers information for people without OHIP in the GTA and Hamilton regions.
Last updated: March 30, 2023 4001229