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In Canada, there are different kinds of doctors, from general practitioners (GP) and Family Doctors to specialists such as cardiologists, dermatologists, dentists, etc.

Doctors / GPs
For any non-emergency health situation, your first contact with the health system will be your General Practitioner (GP) or a Physician. All specialized services and treatment are provided through a referral from your GP. One of the first things you should do when you arrive in Canada will be to find an appropriate General Practitioner or Physician. Ask your contacts or family, or even neighbors about finding one.

Pharmacies are situated in many areas of major city centers. They are usually private establishments, but regulated by the provincial pharmaceutical body. Normally, pharmacies will provide all common medication in stock and offer prompt service for prescription medicines. Tariffs for prescriptions medications in Canada are balanced, so they cost less than in some other countries, such as the US for example. There are also nonprescription medicines for which you do not require a prescription, such as painkillers and allergy remedies. These types of medication can be bought both in pharmacies and in drugstores.

Dental care is very expensive in Canada and this medical treatment isn't covered by provincial health plans. Generally, you will have to purchase insurance that covers a percentage or all of your dental expenses, or the coverage might be provided by your employer. Educational institutions in Canada require foreigners to sign up for their group health plans that cover a portion of dental expenses.

The public health plan in Ontario and other provinces don't cover the vision care. For regular medical examination and any other matters about vision care, you will need to pay for the services either by using your private coverage or employment coverage or out of your own pocket.

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