What are my rights to receive health care services in French?

3. Find a family doctor or nurse practitioner who speaks French

A family doctor or nurse practitioner is your main health care provider. They are who you should go to when you have non-emergency health issues.

A family doctor can:

  • diagnose and treat common illnesses and injuries
  • refer you to health care specialists who work with specific conditions
  • support you in managing a chronic condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure
  • prescribe medication to you
  • perform regular check-ups and routine screening tests, such as physicals and cancer screening tests

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with added education and experience. They can provide most of the same services as doctors. But there are some services a nurse practitioner can’t provide. For example, a nurse practitioner can’t prescribe medication. If you need services the nurse practitioner can’t provide, they can refer you to a doctor or talk to a doctor for you.

To find a doctor or nurse practitioner in your area who speaks French:

  • Ask a friend or family member if their doctor is accepting new patients.
  • Ask the nearest hospital if it has a family practice unit.
  • Go to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario website and use the Doctor Search. You can search by area, medical specialty, and language spoken.
  • Go to the College of Nurses of Ontario website and use the Find a Nurse tool. You can search by the person’s name or where they work.

If you need medical information right away, you can contact the following services:

Telehealth Ontario

To speak to a registered nurse, call Telehealth Ontario. They offer free, confidential medical advice and information in French and English. This phone service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The registered nurse may also:

  • help you decide what to do next
  • refer you to a level of care that suits your needs
  • refer you to another health professional for advice on what to do next

Health Care Connect

If you don’t have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, you can register for Health Care Connect. A nurse will search for a doctor or nurse practitioner accepting new patients in your area. You can register online in French or English.

Alliance for Healthier Communities

The Alliance for Healthier Communities is a network of Community Health Centres. These centres provide health care services to communities across Ontario. To search for a centre in your area that provides services in French, use the Find a Community Health Centre tool.

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