Health care in Vancouver is of the highest standard and quality, but there are chronic shortages in the number of practicing family physicians and often lengthy waits for non-critical medical procedures and surgeries. There are a large number of walk-in clinics, accessible anytime without an appointment, which provide all the same care as a family physician, and several large hospitals (including a specialty women’s and children’s hospital) providing excellent emergency and scheduled care. Although there is an ongoing physician shortage, it is still possible to find a family doctor. The best way is either through word of mouth, after you get settled into your new home and begin to meet neighbors and make new friends, or you can use the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia physician locator: https://www.cpsbc.ca/node/263. You can also use the physician look-up link on the Rate MD’s website, to access reviews and ratings for a particular doctor: http://www.ratemds.com/.
Some family doctors will make house calls to their patients, once you are an established patient, but most will not, and there is no real established model for house-call visits in Vancouver. Most walk-in clinics are open all day and in the evening until 9 pm, and if you have a true emergency that cannot wait until morning, just go to the nearest hospital emergency room to receive the best and fastest treatment. You can also call the BC Nurseline any time of day or night, to speak to a registered nurse about a non-emergency health issue, by dialing 8-1-1.
Medical care in BC is very good, and you can rest assured that you and your family will receive the very best treatment and care should you require it. Canadian doctors and nurses are very kind, particularly those that work at the BC Children’s Hospital (all children under the age of 17 must go to BC Children’s Hospital for emergency care), and practice only the most advanced and latest methods of treatment and care.