Online Guide for Newcomers to Prince Edward Island - Canada
Family Doctors and Health Clinics
Family doctors, physicians or general practitioners (GPs) are usually the first doctors to see a patient, diagnose and treat health problems.
If you need to see a specialist, your family doctor usually has to provide you with a referral. Family doctors can also order laboratory tests, x-rays, ultrasounds and other medical tests to determine whether or not you need to be seen by a specialist. They also keep a patient's medical history on file.
Finding a Family Doctor
- Family doctors in PEI do not make house calls.
- When you contact the Patient Registry Program, you can specify if you prefer a male or a female family doctor, if this is important to you.
- The Intake Worker at the PEI ANC can help you get registered with the Patient Registry Program.
- Settlement Workers at the PEI ANC can help you set up a medical appointment and find an interpreter to go with you, if you need one.
After applying for the PEI Health Card, you should contact the Patient Registry Program. This service assists people with finding a family doctor when they move to PEI or relocate within the province. You and your family will be put on a list, and contacted when a family doctor is assigned to you. [See Related Resources]
There is usually a waiting list for a family doctor in PEI. After you are registered, you might be able to find a family doctor sooner if you:
- Ask friends or relatives to check with their family doctor if he or she is taking new patients
- Look in the Yellow Pages of your telephone book under 'Physicians' and contact the doctors directly
- Ask any general practitioner with whom you come in contact if he or she is taking new patients
Health Clinics and Centres
Hours of operation of walk-in clinics change often as they depend on doctors' availability. It is a good idea to call before you go to make sure the clinic is open.
If you have a non-emergency health problem while you are on the waiting list for a family doctor, or even if you have a family doctor, but cannot arrange an immediate appointment with your doctor, you can go to a walk-in clinic for medical attention. [See Related Resources]
The walk-in clinics operate on the first-come-first-serve basis, and there is no need to arrange an appointment. Registration usually starts about half an hour before the clinic opens. A clinic might close early if the maximum patient capacity has been reached.
Family and Community Health Centres
There is a number of family and community health centres across the Island. Their services include primary care for people with acute or chronic illnesses (diagnosis and treatment), health promotion through education, illness prevention and chronic disease management.
PEI Travel Clinic
The travel clinic provides people who plan to travel outside of Canada with counselling and information on possible health risks in the country they plan to visit. The clinic also provides required or recommended immunizations and prescriptions, and other medical advice and information useful for travellers.
More than 90% of cervical cancer cases can be prevented by regular screening with the Pap test. Regular Pap tests are recommended to all women between ages 21 to 65, and to all sexually active women who are not in this age range.
Pap Screening Clinic
For women who do not yet have a family doctor and wish to undergo regular Pap tests, there is a Pap Screening Clinic in Cornwall. This clinic is available to women between the ages of 21 and 65 who have not had a Pap test within the past two years. You need to call ahead to make an appointment. [See Related Resources]