All you need to know about healthcare in Montréal

Here in Montréal, healthcare is a top priority. The city is home to a host of clinics, hospitals and university health centres offering a diverse range of quality care to patients. Access to services is unparalleled and thanks to a public and universal health insurance system, residents can benefit from excellent health coverage.
The Québec health insurance card
The health insurance card is your ticket to quality care in Québec. Anytime you visit a doctor’s office, hospital or other health professional, make sure you have it on hand! 

In Québec, the vast majority of medical care is covered by the province’s public health insurance plan, which is a strong source of pride in the community. Tip: to avoid paying for your consultation, make sure any doctors or specialists you visit are part of the Québec Health Insurance Plan.
Where to go to get the care you need
You can find countless institutions in Greater Montréal to take care of your health. Pharmacies and Local Community Service Centres (CLSCs) can usually provide you with a list of doctors and health resources near you. You can also visit the following websites to find health services in your neighbourhood (CLSCs, clinics, hospitals and more):
Family doctors (GPs)
Here in Québec, GPs are known as “family doctors.” To find one, the simplest solution is to sign up to the waiting list. You can also ask a GP directly if you go for a consultation if he or she can take you and your family on as patients. 

Note that if you have a condition that requires specialist care, you won’t have to wait as long to be assigned a family doctor. For example, pregnant women or people with a chronic illness, like diabetes, will always be treated first. 

To register on the waiting list for a family doctor, visit the RAMQ (Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec) website.
Neighbourhood walk-in clinics (CLSCs and more)
In Montréal, you’ll never have a hard time getting the care you need. Every neighbourhood in the city has walk-in clinics where you can see a doctor or nurse without an appointment. To limit your wait time, arrive early in the morning … and bring a good book along! 

In addition to health care, CLSCs provide other social services including help for newcomers, future parents, victims of violence, drug addicts, caregivers or senior citizens.  

Note that not all clinics provide 360° care. To avoid wasting time, find out about the services and treatments covered in clinics near you. The reception staff will be happy to direct you to the right place if necessary. 

Find a CLSC or other walk-in clinic near you.
Need to see a specialist?
Whether you’re looking for a pediatrician, podiatrist, psychiatrist or any kind of specialist in between, Montréal has the health care professional for you!

If you’re looking for a specialist physician (other than dentists and optometrists), you’ll first need to meet with a family doctor (GP), who can provide you with a referral to visit the specialist you need. Available at pharmacies across the city, pharmacists can offer advice and recommend products or medications without a prescription. Physicians who work in collaboration with other health professionals (nurses, psychologists, kinesiologists, etc.) can usually be found in general medical clinics.
Making an appointment for a consultation To avoid line-ups, several clinics offer patients the option of making an appointment the day before a visit (by phone or online). You can also visit the Bonjour-santé website to book an appointment at a clinic you’ve visited before. Bonjour-santé members may be able to book a free appointment with a physician or medical specialist the same day. Additionally, free services such as Clic Santé allow you to make online appointments for vaccinations, blood tests, etc.
24/7 emergency care

Health professionals are always available in urgent situations by dialing 911. If needed, you can visit the emergency room of a hospital near you 24 hours a day. If you don’t have transportation to get there or if you need an ambulance, call 911 anytime. When in doubt about your condition, you can call 811 to reach Info-Santé, which is also available 24/7. A responding nurse will be able to offer you advice and refer you to the right medical resource if needed.
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