Toronto is the centre of the healthcare industry in Ontario, and in addition to the many hospitals found in the city there are a great number of clinics available to serve both visitors and residents.
Walk-in clinics can be found across all parts of the city, providing basic medical care without the need for an appointment. Depending on the severity of the issue they can be very helpful, especially for visitors to the city or those who do not yet have a family doctor.
For Canadian residents, much of the basic diagnostics and treatment are covered by provincial health plans, but foreign visitors will need to pay out of pocket. Of course, depending on the coverage those with travel insurance will often be reimbursed.
These clinics are good for issues such as flu, strep throat, minor infections, sprains, as well as for getting basic shots such as the flu vaccine.
Many of them also provide a range of diagnostic services on site, for cases where an issue may need to be referred to a specialist. This includes X-rays, ultrasound, mammography, cardiac testing and blood testing.
While some clinics are small and offer basic services, they are able to refer you to one of the many laboratories found in the city. However, always remember that if it a serious health emergency, call 911 or proceed quickly to the nearest hospital.
The quality of care varies across different clinics, so if you have the time it’s always helpful to investigate a little. If you know someone in the city, ask them if they are familiar with a good clinic. If not, online reviews provide a certain degree of insight, although such opinions should always be considered with caution.
Time of day is also a factor to think about, as such clinics tend to be busier in the afternoon than earlier in the morning. On weekdays, lunch hours tend to be busy as well.
Other Medical Clinics
Since Toronto is a major centre for the Canadian healthcare sector, it enjoys a large number of clinics aimed at specific medical needs. One can find facilities covering everything from audiology (hearing clinics), to dermatology (skin care), to chiropractics.
Depending on the issue you may require a referral, which can be given to you by your family doctor. If that is not possible, doctors at walk-in medical clinics can provide you one.
There are also several travel medicine clinics found in the city, particularly in areas closer to downtown. These clinics provide specialized services to people looking to travel, particularly those heading to more exotic and tropical locations.
Doctors at these clinics provide consultation as to exactly what types of precautions are needed for specific destinations, and have all the necessary inoculations on hand.
For those with reproductive health needs, the city has a range of services including birth control clinics, fertility clinics, and abortion clinics.
In addition to private medical clinics, the City of Toronto also runs a number of sexual health clinics designed to provide sexual health services to vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. More information can be found on the city’s website, www.toronto.ca.
Toronto also has many physiotherapy and rehabilitation clinics for those dealing with the after-effects of injuries. More serious issues are generally dealt with through hospitals, but otherwise referrals are made to one of the many skilled physiotherapists. There is plenty of choice in terms of rehabilitation, physiotherapy, orthopaedic and sports injury clinics.
With such a prominent healthcare industry in Toronto, it should come as no surprise that there is also a wide selection of dental health services as well. As with medical clinics, dental clinics can be found throughout to city in all neighbourhoods.
While the majority of clinics operate on an appointment basis, there are also walk-in dental clinics in the city that provide for those without a dentist, or those in need of emergency dental services. However, most dental clinics in the city are constantly taking on new patients.
Toronto Public Health also works with community health centres, community agencies and private dentists to offer free and low cost dental services in city clinics.
This is designed to target vulnerable populations who may not otherwise be able to access dental case, especially children and the elderly.
The city also has a robust selection of experts in specialty dental issues like orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. Many services such as teeth whitening, mouth guards and basic cosmetic dentistry are provided through standard clinics.
For more complicated issues, Toronto is the home to many of the country’s top experts in the field; dealing with problems such as snoring, sleep apnea, paediatric dentistry and dental implants.