How to Find Health Professionals When You’re New to Canada

Picture: Adhy Savala 

Canada is battling a chronic shortage of physicians and nurses, significantly affecting primary and emergency care. If you’ve just moved to Canada, the effects can be noticeable before long. You may struggle to find healthcare providers accepting patients or are contending with long wait times. However, struggling with receiving healthcare now doesn’t mean you always will. You may find these tips below helpful for finding new health professionals. 

Use Search Engines

Struggling to receive healthcare can sometimes relate to not knowing your options in a new town or city. It can be worth typing your needs and location into a search engine to find the closest businesses near you. For example, you would type ‘chiropractor Calgary’ into a search engine if you were looking for a chiropractor in Calgary, Alberta. When you have a list of options, you can start researching more about them, identify the ones you like, and contact them to see if they are taking on new patients. 

Use a Health Services Directory

Most country officials don’t want their residents to struggle to find health professionals when they need assistance with an ailment or injury. That’s why many dedicate time and resources to creating health services directories and databases. Look online for a directory that has what you need. You can often search for healthcare providers by name, location, and specialty. 

Explore Health Insurance

Every country has a different system in place for health insurance. Anyone new to Canada may find it easier to discover all available health professionals by inquiring about health insurance. Provincial benefits only apply to permanent residents.

Permanent residents and Canadian citizens can apply for public health insurance and receive most healthcare services and emergency medical services for free. If you’re new to Canada, you can explore private healthcare options. Once you contact a health insurance provider, you may learn about many different healthcare providers near you. 

Talk to Immigrant Settlement Agencies

Settling in a new country can sometimes be an overwhelming experience, so newcomers often reach out to immigrant settlement agencies and community centers. They can often be your first port of call for learning about many different services and the best ways to access them. These agencies are set up to directly connect customers with their needed services and help them learn about all available federal and provincial settlement services. 

Ask Your Employer

Many people move to Canada for new employment opportunities. This can often mean that your employer is one of the first meaningful connections you make in a new country. Use this to your advantage by asking them about healthcare professionals in your area. Many employers even provide help and financial assistance for clients to access the healthcare they need. 

Make Phone Calls

Making phone calls is often the best way to have all your pressing healthcare questions answered and to see which healthcare clinics are and aren’t taking patients. Once you have a list of potential options, contact them to learn what they can offer and their availability for new patients. 

Finding health professionals when you’re new to Canada can be overwhelming, but you still have options. Talk to your employer, inquire about health insurance, and connect with your local immigrant settlement agency. You may have the information you need to access healthcare before long.

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