GPs in Quebec
There are different categories of doctors in Quebec:
- GPs who accept the health insurance card: you do not have to make cash advances and the doctor will be paid directly by the RAMQ.
- Doctors called “opted out doctors”: in this case, you have to pay the consultation and send the bill to the RAMQ in order to be reimbursed.
- Doctors called “nonparticipating doctors” who do not accept the health insurance card: you will have to support all the expenses and the RAMQ will not reimburse any consultation.
It is therefore important to check the type of doctor you will visit beforehand in order to avoid unpleasant situations. You can find the list of “opted out” and “non-participating” doctors issued by the Régie de l’Assurance Maladie du Québec (RAMQ) by clicking here.
Doctors see their patients from Monday to Friday from 8.00 am to 4.00 – 6.00 pm and on Saturday morning. They speak French and often English too.
There are not enough doctors in Quebec and waiting times to get an appointment may sometimes be very long, as is the case in the other provinces of Canada.
Specialist doctors in Quebec:
If you need specific treatment, your GP will refer you to a specialist doctor.
As there are only a few specialist doctors, waiting times to get an appointment are often very long.
This is why it is recommended that you go directly to an optician for a simple eye examination in order to avoid long waiting times. He/she will perform the necessary examination and will advise you on the appropriate eyeglasses. However, for most serious cases such as cataract, you will have to book an appointment with an ophthalmologist.