Canada has been rated one of the best places to live because of the health care program that it provides to its citizens and immigrants. All residents of Canada are provided with necessary medical care based on need, regardless of their ability to pay.
For general medical needs, it is best to find a general practitioner of medicine, commonly called a Family Doctor (also referred to as General Practitioner or GP). In addition, you should find a dentist for your oral health (teeth), and an optometrist for eye care. Emergency medical needs are discussed in the Emergencies section of this guide.
Finding a doctor that is accepting new patients can sometimes be challenging. Here are some ways to help find a physician:
- Call the Physician Information Line at 902-424-3047
- Lists of doctors accepting new patients are sometimes available from hospitals
- Doctors are listed in the Yellow Pages
- Family clinics often can refer you to doctors
- Visit the Department of Health's website: Family Physicians Accepting New Patients at www.gov.ns.ca/health/physicians
If you cannot find a doctor and are experiencing health problems, you should visit a hospital emergency department or walk-in clinic.
Hospitals offer a full range of medical services, and are located in more populated centres across Nova Scotia. To find the hospital nearest you, check your local phone book or Yellow Pages. You can also check Community Profiles.
Health clinics may also be found in many towns and cities in Nova Scotia. Clinics provide supplemental health services beyond those offered by family practices. Many clinics specialize (for example, a hearing and speech clinic, or women’s clinic). Some clinics allow patients to walk in without appointments, while some require patients to call ahead. To find health clinics in your area, check your local phone book or visit Community Profiles.