Find a family doctor or nurse practitioner

How to find or change a family doctor or nurse practitioner through Health Care Connect.

How it works

Health Care Connect is a program that helps you find a doctor or nurse practitioner if you don’t have one. You can also use the program to change family health care providers, but only after you drop off your current family health care provider’s patient list.

Once you join Health Care Connect, a Care Connector will search for a doctor or nurse practitioner in your community that’s accepting new patients.

Joining Health Care Connect does not guarantee that:

  • a family health care provider will be found for you – those who need urgent care will be placed with a family health care provider first
  • one family health care provider can take your whole family

About 80% of people who join the program find a family health care provider this way. You’re also encouraged to continue your own search as well.

Search for a family health care provider yourself

Learn more about Health Care Connect

Who can use the program

To use Health Care Connect, you must:

  • not have a family health care provider at this time
  • have a valid Ontario Health Card
  • have an up-to-date mailing address

How to join the program

You can sign up yourself and your whole family.

Step 1: To sign up for the program, you’ll be asked to fill out a health information form. This will help to determine your level of need for a family health care provider.

There are two ways you can complete the form:

  • call toll free 1-800-445-1822 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.  You’ll speak to a representative who will ask the short series of questions on the form
  • visit Health Care Connect online and complete the form

Step 2: Your request will be given to a nurse in your community called a Care Connector.

Step 3: Your Care Connector will review your request and try to find you the right family health care provider in your community who is accepting new patients.

If a doctor is found for you

Step 1: Your Care Connector will give you the name and contact information of the family health care provider. This information will also be mailed to you.

Step 2: Contact this family health care provider yourself to book an appointment.

Step 3: After meeting with the family health care provider, decide whether you want to make them your new health care provider. If not, you can sign up again for Health Care Connect by completing a new registration.

How to change family health care providers

You can only join Health Care Connect if you don’t have a family health care provider. If you would like to use Health Care Connect to change family health care providers, you must first take yourself off the patient list of your current one. There are two ways to do this:

  1. contact your family health care provider directly
  2. call ServiceOntario – 1-888-218-9929

When to update your Care Connector

  • if you find your own family health care provider before your Care Connector does
  • if your health changes after you first join the program
  • if your contact information changes
  • if you want to withdraw from the program

When you join

You must allow the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (the ministry) to collect, use and disclose your personal health information. The ministry will use this information only for the purpose of finding a family health care provider for you.

Under the program rules, the ministry is not liable for:

  • any costs, losses, claims, liabilities or damages that may be caused by, or related to, the program
  • finding a family health care provider for you or your family
  • any other matter that may come up between you and a family health care provider you find through the program

Resources

More information on finding a doctor or nurse practitioner (available in 28 languages)

 

Updated: February 24, 2015