Canada’s health-care system may differ in unique ways from what you’re used to. Below, you can familiarize yourself with the 4 main types of medical providers: pharmacies, mobileDOCTOR, walk-in clinics, and hospitals. When visiting any of these providers, you will need to bring the following:

  • Proof of medical insurance or your digital Access Health Card
  • Photo identification (Passport, Ontario Identification Card, etc.)
  • Credit or debit card to pay for the visit if the clinic does not have Direct Billing


In an emergency where your or others' health and/or safety are at risk, call 911 for emergency response (police, fire, or ambulance). Trained emergency call takers will provide further information and assistance.

Pharmacies provide access to licensed pharmacists in Ontario who can assess and write you a prescription for 13 minor illnesses or conditions. Some locations may accept walk-ins, or you may be required to book an appointment.

Pharmacists can offer prescriptions for:

  • Pink eye
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Sprains and strains
  • Insect bites
  • Heartburn
  • Dermatitis
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Urinary tract infections
  • And more

MobileDOCTOR, provided by, allows you to connect with Canadian doctors on Maple, a telemedicine company. Maple provides access to doctors, Canada-wide, on your phone, tablet or computer, anytime. Doctors can diagnose minor injuries and illnesses, write prescriptions, and provide lab requisitions.

What can be treated:

  • Cold or flu
  • Upset stomach
  • Earaches
  • Hives
  • Infections
  • Pink eye
  • Sinus infection
  • Urinary tract infections

Walk-in clinics provide non-emergency health services from on-site nurses and doctors. They may assess your condition and provide treatment for most minor illnesses and injuries. Depending on the clinic, booking an appointment may be recommended but often isn’t required.

Typically treated in Walk-in Clinic:

  • Infections and rashes
  • Cuts and burns
  • Cold or flu
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle strains and sprains
  • Earache
  • Fever
  • Vomiting

Hospitals provide emergency health care with a variety of services by medical and professional staff. Hospitals are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and may assess the condition, provide diagnostic tests, and may also provide surgeries when applicable. Patients may have a long wait time depending on the severity of their medical conditions.

Typically treated in the Emergency Department:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe pain
  • Broken bones
  • Head/eye injuries
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Overdose
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