Health Care in York Region
Canada's health care system is admired around the world. As a resident of York Region, you have access to our public health care system.
The Ontario government pays for most basic health care. As a resident of York Region, you are eligible for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). You will receive an Ontario Health Card. Keep this card safe.
OHIP covers medical services such as:
- Family doctor or walk-in clinic visits
- Hospital visits
- Some dental surgery
If you are new to Ontario, one of the first things you need do is apply for an Ontario Health Card, also called an OHIP card.
Once you arrive in Canada you have to wait three months before you are eligible for coverage under OHIP. While you wait, you can be eligible to purchase short-term health insurance. There are companies that sell this type of insurance. You can find them in the Yellow Pages.
Finding a Family Doctor
In Ontario, it can be hard to find a family doctor accepting new patients. You might have to wait several months before finding a doctor. In the meantime, you can go to a walk-in clinic for a check-up while you wait. You can call Health Care Connect at 1-800-445-1822, a program that refers people to doctors accepting new patients.
There are many walk-in medical clinics in York Region. Each clinic has doctors who can help you.
You need to show your Ontario Health Card each time you visit a doctor.
Family doctors or general practitioners (GPs) keep a history of your medical records and can refer you to specialists if you need specific medical care.
York Region has three hospitals:
- Southlake Regional Health Centre located in Newmarket
- Markham-Stouffville Hospital located in Markham
- Mackenzie Health Hospital located in Richmond Hill
Visit www.york.ca for more information on hospitals in York Region and surrounding areas.
Each hospital has an emergency department where you can go if you have an urgent medical problem. You will need to show your health insurance or your Ontario Health Card. Visit Ontario wait times for current and accurate information on wait times at 126 Ontario ERs and Urgent Care Centres. The information on this website will give you an idea of how long a patient who needs immediate, unscheduled health care services can expect to spend in an ER.
Finding a Dentist
Finding a dentist is easy in York Region. You have to pay for dental care unless you have additional insurance or are receiving government assistance. The Regional Municipality of York provides free dental programs for eligible children 17 and under who qualify.
Many workplaces in Canada offer supplemental coverage that might cover dental work for employees and their families. Check with your employer for more details.
Medications / Prescriptions
If your doctor or dentist wants you to take medicine, they will write you a prescription. York Region has many drugstores and pharmacists that can be found using your local Yellow Pages. You have to pay for your own medicine unless you have additional insurance or receive government assistance.
For more information about health care in York Region and Ontario:
Screen for Life - Important health information: Screening for cancer means having a test when you feel well. Regular screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer can find cancer early when treatment works best. Men and women should talk with their doctor or nurse practitioner about what type of screening is best for them. This multicultural postcard has Ontario's screening guidelines. To get copies please email ICSregional@southlakeregional.org or call 905-895-4521 ext. 6065. For more information about cancer screening, please visit www.ontario.ca/screenforlife.
- Stay Active…I Walk is a webinar for the Chinese community to learn about the importance of staying healthy and walking. This program is an initiative of York Region Public Health
- Health Connection - Free and confidential public health information and education provided by health care professionals available by phone.
- Healthy Smiles Ontario is a program for children 17 and under who do not have access to any form of dental coverage. If eligible, children will get regular dental services at no cost.
- Interim Federal Health (IFH) Program - provides temporary health insurance to refugees, protected persons and refugee claimants, as well as to their dependants, who are not yet covered by a provincial health insurance plan.
- The Mental Health Helpline provides free information about mental health services in Ontario through phone, chat or email.
- Ontario Doctors Search - the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario provides information about all family doctors and specialists, including practice addresses, telephone numbers, and qualifications.
- Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) - questions and answers on what you need to know about your Ontario Health Card.
- Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care - for more information about Ontario's public health program.
- Settlement.org - information about the location and programs offered by Community Health Centres. Community Health Centres are non-profit organizations that provide primary health care for individuals, families and communities.
- Telehealth Ontario - A free, confidential telephone service you can call to get health advice or general health information from a Registered Nurse.
- Vaughan Health Care Centre - Is a not-for-profit, community-governed organization that provides clinical and social services to the residents of the City of Vaughan. Services are provided in different languages within a safe, accessible and comfortable environment.
- York Region Dental Services - Dental services available in York Region.
- York Region's Public Health department - provides excellent information about such health matters as pregnancy, parenting, eating correctly and many more health-related issues.
- Yellow Pages - Walk-in clinics, dentists and private health insurance providers in your local municipality.