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How to: Find a family doctor for your loved one in Ontario

Up to 2.2 million people in Ontario are without a family doctor – so up to 4.4 million people in Ontario are potentially affected by the shortage of family doctors, if each client has one family member providing support.

How can you support your loved one who does not have a family doctor at this time?

Step 1: Secure a family doctor as soon as possible:

1. Go to this website or call 1-800-445-1822 to file a request and be waitlisted.

2. Go to this website to search for family practice offices who are accepting patients in your area (Advanced Search->Select City/Town->Select “Family Doctor”->Click “Submit”). Call the office number provided on the “Doctor Search Results” list. If you are declined, ask for recommendations from the office staff (“if you were providing advice for a family or friend, what would you suggest in this circumstance?”)

If you do not have success, go to Step 2.

Step 2: Urgent Care Clinics or Walk-in Clinics

1. Google “Urgent Care in [name of your town/city]”

2. Consider virtual care, in which case Google “Virtual Care in [name of your town/city]”

Step 3: Emergency Department

See my video about “How to: Navigate an Emergency Department Visit" for details. While there, be sure to notify staff that your loved one does not have a family doctor, and request their support in securing one locally.

Step 4 Following-up: Return to Step 1.2 on a weekly basis until you achieve results. Need additional help? Email or text 647-905-5080 so we can advocate for you.

Final note: You may wish to pursue a Nurse Practitioner, many of whom provide a similar level of service (assessment, diagnosis, prescriptions, referrals) as a family doctor. If this is the case, go to Step 1.1 and request a Nurse Practitioner.

Thank you for caring for your loved one. Strong families mean strong communities and society!

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