Project Description

How to find and register for a Family Doctor?

Finding family doctor (General practitioner) in Ottawa may take you some time. They are the first doctors that you go to in order to diagnose and treat most medical problems and get prescriptions for medication. You also need referral from your family doctor if you need to see a specialist or run some tests.
Due to shortage of doctors, it is better if you start looking for family doctor as soon as you arrive in Ottawa, there are some ways that might help you in your search:

  • Ask your friends and relatives if their family doctor is accepting new patients.

  • Register with Health Care Connect. This program connects you with physicians or nurse practitioners in your city of residence who are accepting new patients. To be eligible for this program you must have OHIP and must not be registered an Ontario family health care provider. You can register for this program online at Health Care Connect website or by calling 1-800-445-1822 (TTY 1-800-387-5559).

  • Consult the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario website and search for family doctors using the Find the Doctor tool. You may be able to find a doctor that speaks your language or see if the doctor you are considering has received any disciplinary action.

  • Go to the nearest hospital in your area and ask if they have family practice unit.

When you choose a family doctor, you might think about:

  • Is the doctor accepting new patients?

  • Can you make appointments at a convenient time?

  • Do you prefer a male or female doctor?

  • Do you prefer a doctor who speaks your language?

  • Does the doctor answer your questions clearly?

  • Does the doctor explain your options for treatment?

  • Is there a medical lab where basic tests can be done?

  • Which hospital does the doctor send patients to?

Not able to find a family doctor?

Get medical help from:

Walk-in Medical Clinic

You can go to the nearest walk-in medical clinic without appointment to see a doctor or nurse. Doctors will be visiting you on a first-come-first-serve basis. You need to take your health (OHIP) card with you.
To find the closest center you can:

Community Health Centre (CHC)

You can also go to a Community Health Centre (CHC). Community Health Centres (CHCs) are non-profit organizations that provide primary health care for individuals, families and communities and have health professionals such as doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners on staff.
If you do not have family doctor and also do not have OHIP, you might be able to get health care services at a Community Health Centre (CHC). There are health professionals including doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners to help you. You may find a community health center in your area using the link

Telehealth Ontario

You can call 1-866-797-0000 and talk to a registered nurse and ask about health concerns, or describe symptoms you have. The nurse will help you to decide if you should go to a hospital emergency room, if you can wait to go to a doctor the next day, or if you can look after yourself at home. Telehealth Ontario phone service is free of charge, confidential and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.