How can I find a family doctor?

There is a shortage of family doctors in some areas in Ontario. It may take you some time to find a doctor.

A family doctor is also called a general practitioner (GP). Family doctors are usually the first doctors to diagnose and treat most medical problems. If you need to see a specialist doctor, usually, you need a family doctor to refer you. Family doctors also order laboratory and other tests.

Here are a few ways you can look for a family doctor:

  • Ask a friend or family member if their doctor is accepting new patients.
  • Register with Health Care Connect. This program refers you to a local doctor or nurse practitioner who is accepting new patients. You need to have OHIP to use this service and must not be currently registered with an Ontario family health care provider. It is run by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. You can register with this program by filling out an online form or by calling 1-800-445-1822 (TTY 1-866-797-0007).
  • Use the Doctor Search found on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario website. This search is helpful for finding doctors that speak your language or have a specialization you may need.
  • Ask the nearest hospital if it has a family practice unit.
  • You can also ask a worker at your local settlement agency. They might have a list of doctors who are accepting new patients or who speak your language. To find help, go to Services Near Me and search for "settlement services" in your area.

When you contact a health care provider's office you should ask if they are accepting new patients.

Where can I get medical help if I don't have a family doctor?

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For More Information

  • Your Health Care Options - Information and links about your options to get health care in Ontario. You can search the directory by location and type of services. It is run by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
  • MD Home Call - These companies can arrange for a doctor to visit your home. If you have OHIP, you do not have to pay. If you do not have OHIP, you have to pay the doctor.
  • Refugee HealthLine - Call this line (1-866-286-4770), for free, to register for help in being connected with a health service provider who can assist with initial medical assessments and referral to other health services. This is not an emergency or crisis line.
  • Rainbow Health Ontario Service Directory - This directory includes doctors and healthcare professionals who deliver LGBTQIA+ friendly services.
Last updated: January 5, 2023 4001217