How to Find a Doctor in Canada on a Visa (2024)

Visiting Canada on a visa is an exciting experience. The second-largest country in the world has something to offer everyone, from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan city life to vast expanses of nature.

Whether you’re coming to Canada because you’re participating in the International Experience Canada (IEC) program or you have a super visa, you need to think about your health. That includes access to medical care.

You should absolutely know how to find a doctor in Canada while on a visa, and how to address the costs of the treatment those professionals provide. Let’s take a closer look at how travel insurance can offer you stability and security, making it easier to seek and receive care during your visit.

Can a Tourist See a Doctor in Canada?

Navigating healthcare in Canada as a nonresident requires some knowledge and planning, but it’s entirely possible to keep yourself safe during your travels.

Anyone can schedule a doctor’s appointment or visit an emergency medical facility while in Canada. The average wait time to see a doctor in Canada is very low in emergency situations. Referrals to specialists from family medicine physicians in Canada can take a significant amount of time.

It’s good to know that health care is accessible throughout the country. However, the Government of Canada advises that guests in the country are responsible for any costs associated with that care.

The real issue isn’t so much the search for a doctor or waiting for treatment, but how you will pay for care. In general, the only alternative to travel insurance is to self-fund any medical expenses — potentially an incredibly expensive option.

You don’t have to worry about making that choice if you plan to spend time in Canada through an IEC working holiday visa or super visa.

The Government of Canada requires you to purchase travel health insurance if you plan to enter the country via IEC or a super visa. More specifically:

  • IEC participants must have health insurance that covers their entire length of stay
    • That policy has to include medical care, hospitalization, and repatriation
  • Super visa eligibility includes the need to have at least one year of health insurance with $100,000 in total coverage
    • The Government of Canada requires proof of payment of this policy as well

How to Find a Doctor in Canada that Takes Your Insurance

When you purchase a travel insurance policy, you’ll be connected with your chosen insurer. These companies offer self-service tools and customer service support to help you find a family doctor or other health professional.

Best Quote Travel Insurance can help you find the best available policy for your needs, taking coverage and cost into account. We work with leading insurers across Canada to provide a variety of travel insurance options. That means you can focus more on your upcoming visit to Canada with the peace of mind that your travel insurance is set up and in place.

Learn more about purchasing your travel insurance: Contact us for more information.

How to Find a Doctor in Canada on a Visa (2024)


How to see a doctor on a visitor visa in Canada? ›

Visitors must carry their own health insurance coverage - or pay directly out-of-pocket - for health care. Yes, any person in Canada can walk into any health clinic and be seen by a doctor.

Can I see a doctor in Canada as an American? ›

Yes, an American can visit a Canadian doctor. You need to do the following: Get an appointment with a Canadian doctor and a letter from the doctor agreeing to see you. (You will be required to present this letter to Canada Immigration.)

How do I book a medical appointment for a Canada visa? ›

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Book a Medical Appointment for Canada Visa in India
  1. Step 1: Visit the IRCC website. The first step is to visit the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). ...
  2. Step 2: Choose a panel physician. ...
  3. Step 3: Contact the panel physician. ...
  4. Step 4: Schedule the medical examination.
May 31, 2023

How do I get a doctor in Canada? ›

Here are a few ways you can look for a family doctor:
  1. Ask a friend or family member if their doctor is accepting new patients.
  2. Register with Health Care Connect. ...
  3. Use the Doctor Search found on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario website. ...
  4. Ask the nearest community hospital if it has a family practice unit.
Nov 7, 2023

How can a foreigner see a doctor in Canada? ›

Your immigration status doesn't matter. If treatment for your health condition is not medically necessary right now but you still need to see a doctor, you can call your local Community Health Centre (CHCs). CHCs will serve people even if they don't have status in Canada. Most CHCs serve specific areas in Ontario.

Can I see a doctor in Canada as a tourist? ›

As a foreign visitor to Canada, you can visit any doctor or hospital, as long as you pay the bill. Relatively small amounts, you pay upon your visit. After you returned home, send the medical bill to your insurance company.

What happens if an American gets sick in Canada? ›

If during your visit to Canada you get sick or injured, the Canadian government won't pay for any hospitalization or emergency medical services for visitors. Also, if you don't have proper medical insurance coverage, you will be liable to pay for any medical service out of your own pocket.

How much is a doctor visit in Canada as an American? ›

Outpatient ServiceFee
Outpatient Visit$772
Lab Specimen$358
General X-Ray$358
CT Scan$1,712
6 more rows

What happens if an American needs medical care in Canada? ›

Foreigners will receive emergency care, but non-urgent medical treatment won't be covered. To make sure you won't have to pay for all of your medical expenses, you should sign up for an international health insurance plan.

How much is a medical for a Canada visa? ›

At , the cost of an Immigration Medical Exam can range from $150 CAD to $280 CAD, depending on the age and health of the exam's recipient. Always ask about the cost of your Immigration Medical Exam ahead of time.

How long does it take to get a medical appointment in Canada? ›

Median wait times to receive medical treatment in Canada 2023, by province. In 2023, Canada's median waiting time between a General practitioner (GP) referral to a specialist was 14.6 weeks. In addition, the median waiting time from a specialist appointment to treatment was 13.1 weeks.

How long is the wait for Canada visa appointment? ›

The waiting time for a Canada visa appointment can range from 3 weeks to 8 weeks. However, it is important to note that the waiting time can vary and may be longer for some applicants due to unavoidable reasons.

Is it hard to get a doctors appointment in Canada? ›

One big issue is getting in to see a doctor. The Commonwealth Fund estimated that 56 per cent of Canadians waited more than a month to see a specialist in 2016 or simply to get an appointment with a family doctor – if they even have one.

How much does a doctor cost in Canada? ›

Text version of graph
SpecialtyAverage cost per service
Family medicine$56.02
Internal medicine$90.02
16 more rows
Nov 17, 2022

Can you pay for a doctor in Canada? ›

Understanding Private Doctors and Clinics in Canada

There are very few private doctors, and for good reason. Generally speaking, private doctors cannot bill the government for services, and their patients must pay them directly (although the patients may be able claim back these fees from government).

Can a visitor in Canada go to walk-in clinic? ›

Canadians (and tourists!) without a family doctor have two options—walk-in clinics or hospitals. Canadians who head to the hospital for non-emergency issues can expect to wait for hours.

What happens if a tourist gets sick in Canada? ›

If during your visit to Canada you get sick or injured, the Canadian government won't pay for any hospitalization or emergency medical services for visitors. Also, if you don't have proper medical insurance coverage, you will be liable to pay for any medical service out of your own pocket.

Can you get medical on tourist visa? ›

Yes. In general, anyone can apply for Medi-C​​al. A person on an H1 visa is a temporary worker or trainee. As long as they are living and working in California and provide evidence of that, they can meet California residency.

How can I see a doctor in Canada without insurance? ›

The Non-Insured Walk-in Clinic (NIWIC) offers confidential primary care services to people who do not have health insurance. We now offer you care on a “walk-in'' and appointment basis – see our hours below. We do not charge for the care we provide.

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