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Medical Services

Canadian health care is excellent but it’s not free to visitors, so be sure to get travel insurance before you leave home.

Canada has no reciprocal health care with other countries and nonresidents will have to pay up front for treatment (often in cash) and wait for the insurance payback.

Medical treatment is pricey (less so by US comparison), and long waits – particularly in the emergency room – are common. Avoid going to the hospital if possible.

Québec Poison Control Centre


If you’re sick and need some advice, call Québec's provincial Health Hotline, which is staffed by nurses 24 hours a day.

For minor ailments in Montréal, visit the CLSC clinic downtown.


The big pharmacy chains are Pharmaprix (www.pharmaprix.ca) and Jean Coutu (www.jeancoutu.com). Some branches stay open late.