Family doctors and nurse practitioners, and general physicians or general practitioners (GPs) are usually the first clinicians to see a patient, diagnose and treat health problems.
If you need to see a specialist, your family clinician or a GP usually has to provide you with a referral. They 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. Family clinicians — doctors or nurse practitioners — also keep a patient’s medical history on file in their base clinics.
- Family doctors in NL may occasionally make house calls.
- When you contact the Provincial Patient Registry Program, you can request a male or a female family doctor or nurse practitioner, if this is important to you and you have a preference.
- Settlement workers at the ANC can assist you in finding a family doctor.
Finding a Family Doctor
The process to search for a family physician can vary, and potentially be more difficult, depending on where you live in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Find A Doctor NL, is a free service for patients looking for a family doctor in the province and for family physicians who are licensed to practice who wish to publicize that they are accepting new patients.
The website provides a list of family physicians accepting new patients by region. (Please note: the list is not a representative list of all family doctors accepting new patients in the province.) For more information, visit https://findadoctornl.ca/.
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. Check the location, hours of operation, and contact information of walk-in clinics.
There is a walk-in medical clinic in St. John’s. Appointments are not required.
Blackmarsh Family Care Clinic, 260 Blackmarsh Road (in the Dominion supermarket building)
If you have a non-emergency health problem while you are on the waiting list for a family clinician, or even if you have one, but cannot arrange an immediate appointment with your family clinic, you can go to a walk-in clinic for medical attention.
Walk-in clinics operate on a 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. You can register in person or, for some of the walk-in clinics, online using the ‘Skip the Waiting Room’ online service. There is a small fee if you register online. A clinic might close early if the maximum patient capacity has been reached.
Primary Care Networks and Health Centres
Primary care includes physician offices and health centres located in four primary care networks across the province. It covers a broad range of health services including diagnosis, treatment, education, disease prevention, and screening.
Each network has a team of health care professionals including family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, diabetes educators, licensed practical nurses, and clerical staff. Some networks also have dieticians and mental health workers.
- Eastern Health – Is the largest health authority in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada serving residents on the Avalon, Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas.
- Central Health – The region extends from Charlottetown in the east, Fogo Island in the north, Harbour Breton in the south, to Baie Verte in the west.
- Western Health – Serves the entire western region of NL, from Burgeo, to Corner Brook, to Lourdes, to Woody Point.
- Labrador-Grenfell Health – covers Labrador and all communities north of Bartlett’s Harbour on the Northern Peninsula.
If you have a non-emergency health problem you can call 811 health information and advice service provided by Registered Nurses.
We have made every effort to ensure that the information in this Guide is accurate and up-to-date. If you find any errors or omissions, please contact us.