Ever wonder how to find a doctor in Vancouver when you get sick? You can either purchase over-the-counter drugs or go see a physician at a clinic. Here are some tips that you need to know!
Looking for a family doctor? Here are some suggestions:
- Visit the Pathways Medical Care Directory. The directory helps you connect with family doctors in your community.
- Contact HealthLink BC using the 8-1-1 toll-free number (If you are hearing impaired, call 7-1-1.). You will be able to speak to a health service navigator who can provide you with information about finding a family doctor in your own community. For example, some communities have services (delivered through the local Divisions of Family Practice) that can help to connect you with a doctor who is taking new patients. The health service navigator can also provide information about walk-in clinics in your area that may be able to provide ongoing care for you or your family member.
- Ask your family or friends to introduce you to their own family doctor. Sometimes a doctor may take you on referral from an existing patient.
- If you are visiting another health care provider, such as a specialist, ask them if they know of any family doctors that are accepting patients.
- If you are visiting a walk-in clinic, ask the doctor if they would be willing to take you on as a patient.
During COVID-19, Virtual Physicians at HealthLink BC is a popular choice for most British Columbians
HealthLink BC’s virtual physicians provide confidential health information and advice. HealthLink BC’s virtual physicians are doctors from across British Columbia. They can help you stay healthy, get better, manage chronic conditions and seek further treatment, if needed.
HealthLink BC virtual physicians are available to 8-1-1 callers after assessment by one of our registered nurses. If the nurse determines that further medical assessment by a doctor would help you get the best advice on when and where you should seek care, they may refer you to your family doctor or nurse practitioner, a health provider in your community or one of our virtual physicians.
8-1-1 virtual physician consults are available by phone or by video. You do not have to talk to physicians in person during this COVID-19 time.
Medications in Canada
All medications can be divided into 2 categories:
- Prescription drugs that require a prescription to be sold
- Non-prescription or over-the-counter drugs that do not require a prescription from a doctor
Prescription drugs are generally more potent than those sold over-the-counter (OTC) and may have more serious side effects if inappropriately used. Therefore, these medications are only sold under a doctor’s direction. These directions are written on a prescription by your doctor, then double-checked, packaged, and sold to you by a pharmacist. Your pharmacist will also counsel you on how to use your medication.
You should use only one pharmacy to fill your prescriptions. That way, you will have a single, complete source for all of your medications. The pharmacist will be more likely to pick up potential interactions among them and contact your doctor if needed. This applies to OTC as well as prescription drugs. If you have any question, visit HealthLink BC to talk to a pharmacist.
Questions about insurance?
Health insurance is mandatory for all international students studying on a valid study permit for at least six months of the year in British Columbia, Canada.
International students are required to apply for the MSP (B.C.’s health-care coverage) as soon as they arrive in British Columbia. The health-care coverage fee for all international students is $75 per month.
Before health-care coverage begins, there is a wait period consisting of the balance of the month that residency is established, plus two months. International students should carry private insurance until this wait period ends and provincial coverage begins. Detailed information about MSP is available here.
Would you like some more information regarding MSP or private insurance? if so, please visit here.