Frequently Asked Questions
For OCFP members
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) (external website) is the regulatory body for the profession in Ontario. Please reach out to the CPSO to get information and advice tailored to your specific circumstance:
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For the public
2.3 million Ontarians do not have a family physician. While we know that the process can be difficult, here are some resources to help you find a family doctor:
- Register for the Ministry’s Health Care Connect, a program that refers you to a local doctor or nurse practitioner who is accepting new patients. You can register online (external website) or by calling 1-800-455-1822, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You must not be currently registered with a provider to use this service.
- Check nearby Community Health Centres (external website) to see if doctors there are accepting new patients.
- Search the Find A Doctor (external website) website of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Choose the ‘Advanced Search’ option, leave the physician name blank and enter the postal code and city where you are looking for a doctor.
- Check whether there is a family medicine practice in a hospital close to you and whether they are accepting new patients.
- Ask your friends, neighbours and relatives if their doctor is accepting new patients.
We understand that our entire healthcare system is under enormous strain – and that includes family doctors. The Ontario College of Family Physicians has put forward both short-term and long-term solutions to ensure Ontarians get the care they need and are urging the Ontario government to implement these changes now. Learn more about our efforts to ensure every Ontarian has a family doctor (external website).
Our organization advocates on behalf of family doctors and we have been working hard to raise the issue and bring solutions to government. People across Ontario can write to MPPs the Minister of Health and Premier and let them know you are struggling to find a family doctor and what the impact of that is. The more people contact them, the more they understand something must be done.
If you do not have a doctor or are unable to see your regular doctor, here are a couple of options you can use:
- Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential service you can call to get health advice or information and determine your options. Call: 1-866-797-0000
- For non-urgent issues, connect with a doctor at the Ontario Virtual Care Clinic (external website).
- You can also search for walk-in clinics in your neighbourhood by visiting thehealthline.ca or iamsick.ca.
- If you are having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or visit the nearest emergency department.
- Register for Health Connect Ontario (external website), a program that refers you to a local doctor or nurse practitioner who is accepting new patients.
- Call 811 to speak with a nurse, available 24 hours a day.
- For respiratory illness, go to a Cough, Cold and COVID-19 assessment centre (external website).
A good first step in resolving any issue with your doctor is to talk to your doctor or the administrator of the clinic. If you still have questions or concerns, you can contact the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) Patient Help Centre (external website).
The CPSO regulates the practice of medicine in Ontario and is responsible for improving the quality of care provided by physicians.
You can request your medical records from your family doctor’s office and may be required to make your request in writing. There may be a fee to access or transfer your records.
You can find more details about accessing your personal medical records on the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (external website) website.
Yes, doctors can charge a reasonable fee for any uninsured service, such as prescription renewals outside of a visit or writing sick notes.
Your doctor should advise you in advance of fees that are not covered by OHIP.
Please see the Uninsured Services: Billing and Block Fees (external website) information sheet for more details.
Ontario, like many jurisdictions, is following the evidence in no longer recommending annual physical exams. Instead, your doctor may recommend periodic health exams based on your age, risks and the tests you need. This approach is known to be more effective in promoting health and preventing disease.
Learn more about health check-ups for adult patients (external website).