Walk-In Clinics: Are They Actually Helpful?

June 4, 2020
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walk-in clinics are medical facilities that take in people without the need to make a previous appointment. They’re located in popular places such as malls and even supermarkets and are easy to access. These types of clinics are often free if you bring your health card, and if you don’t have one, you can expect to pay from $40 to $90 per visit. We recommend this option to anyone that needs a consultation but doesn’t have a family doctor, insurance or is travelling abroad.

However, if you really need to talk with a doctor, we recommend Maple. It’s a telehealth service available all over Canada, it connects with you with doctors in less than 2 minutes, and visits start et $49.

Are you feeling off? You’re in Canada but don’t know where to see a doctor? If so, there’s no need to worry, because walk-in clinics are here to help you out.

Walk-in clinics take people in without medical appointments, and can be hugely helpful in many cases. In this article, we’re going to take a look at walk-in clinics, how they work, how you can find one near you, and whether they’re an overall good choice.

An Overview

Walk-in clinics or walk-in centers are a type of medical facility that takes in patients daily without them needing to make a previous appointment. All you need to get treated there is to walk right in, it’s right in the name.

These types of clinics have three main characteristics: One, you can access them by just walking in through the main door; two, they are available in places you might not except, and three, they are cheaper than regular clinics.

You can find walk-in clinics in crowded places such as malls, supermarkets, or popular streets. This is so they are easy to spot and easy to access for everyone that might be in an emergency.

How Walk-In Clinics Work 

Before we go on, let’s talk a little bit about what are walk-in clinics for, and when you should go to one. These medical facilities are made to provide medical care for anyone who might not have a family doctor and need immediate (but not an emergency!) care.

To put it another way, if you are in a medical emergency, the best thing you can do is call 911 and ask for help. Or, if you are feeling unwell but you do have a family doctor and you’re able to make an appointment, go with them!

We recommend you go to a walk-in clinic in the following cases:

  • You are feeling weird and don’t have a family doctor.
  • You are feeling unwell and do have a family doctor but you’re not able to reach them.
  • You are feeling unwell but can’t book a doctor’s appointment on time.

If you fall under any of those categories, then going to a walk-in clinic is probably the best thing you can do. However, don’t use them for emergencies, since they might not be built to handle such cases.

That being said, in these clinics, you can see a nurse or a doctor without having to make an appointment and get proper medical advice and treatment for your injuries and/or illnesses.

Now, the way these clinics work is pretty straightforward. Once you arrive, you’ll have to register (in some clinics you do it by yourself, in others, there’s a receptionist) and then wait in line until a nurse calls your name into a more private room.

During this point, the nurse will confirm all the information you gave them, ask about what symptoms you are having, take your vitals and go. You’ll likely have to wait for a little while before you get to see the doctor.

Once the doctor comes in, you’ll be asked about your current symptoms again and then get a diagnosis. Keep in mind, you might be prescribed some over-the-counter meds if it’s a common thing, but if not, and you required blood tests and lab work done, it’s extremely likely they’ll refer you to another clinic.

PRO TIP: If you’re hesitant about going to a walk-in clinic and would like previous help, contact Telehealth Ontario and you’ll talk to a certified nurse.

Services You’ll Find In Walk-In Clinics

As you might have noticed, walk-in clinics in Canada are made to deal with minor or common illnesses and injuries. They are not a place you want to go when in the middle of a serious emergency.

That being said, walk-in clinics are pretty useful in various situations, especially if you happen to be a tourist in Canada and need medical assistance. In these clinics, you can find get:

  • Proper diagnosis and treatment of both minor illnesses and injuries
  • Prescriptions
  • Referrals

Keep in mind, it’s possible these services might vary from clinic to clinic.

How Much Do Walk-In Clinics Cost In Canada?

This is a tricky question to answer because the cost can vary depending on where you are in Canada, and even from clinic to clinic. Plus, it also depends on whether or not you have insurance, travel insurance (if you’re just passing by), or if you don’t have a health card.

You need to be aware of whether or not your current insurance covers walk-in clinics. And, if you’re a tourist and need to go on a walk-in clinic, figure out if your credit card comes with travel insurance.

If you don’t have anything to cover your medical visits to the clinic, then you can expect to pay roughly from $60 to $90 for a visit. However, if you have a health card and bring it with you, you should expect to be covered!

How To Find Walk-In Clinics Near You

Picking a walk-in clinic isn’t that hard, but there are three main ways you can filter out the clinics around you and find out a good option in a short time.

For starters, you can Google it. It seems obvious, yes, but at least you will get to see how many clinics are in your zone, their ratings and whether they are open or not (not all of them are open 24 hours a day.)

Another thing you can do is to use an App to find them. For example, there’s an app called Medimap that helps people find walk-in clinics near them in Canada. You can use it on your computer on the desktop version, or your smartphone. Medimap helps you search clinic by location and compare waiting times so you can find the easiest access to care when needed.

Top 20 Walk-In Clinics in Toronto

If you’re looking for clinics in Toronto near you, here’s a list–in no particular order–with the best 20 clinics and their working hours you can check out.

Beaches Family Practice & Walk-In

Located in 116 Glen Manor Dr., Toronto, On, M4E 2X2, their services include everything from regular lab access and medical tests, to minor surgery. 

Monday-SaturdayHours depend on the doctor

Carlton & Church Medical & Walk-In Clinic

Located in 60 Carlton St, Toronto, On, M5B 1J2, their services include everything from regular medicine tests and allergy shots to a variety of lab services.

Monday – Friday9am – 7pm
Saturday – Sunday10am – 3pm

RollCare Walk-In & Telehealth Clinic

Located in 1254 Bloor St. W, Toronto, Ontario M6H 1N5, have regular consultations, and are qualified to treat minor injuries and common illnesses. They even have a pharmacy within the clinic so you can get your prescriptions right there.

They accept all government-approved insurances.

Monday – Friday10am – 6pm

Albany Medical Clinic

Located in 807 Broadview Ave, Toronto, Ontario, this clinic is currently taking virtual visits. As of today (05-13-2020), this clinic is encouraging everyone to schedule a virtual visit first and stay at home if possible.

Monday – Friday8am – 6pm
Saturday – SundayClosed

Corktown Medical Centre

Located in 589 King St E, Unit 1, Toronto, Ontario, this walk-in clinic offers multiple services like blood and lab tests, doctor’s visits and are qualified to treat minor injuries. 

Monday and Wednesday9am – 6pm
Tuesday and Thursday9am – 8pm
Fridays9am – 5pm
Saturday9am – 5pm
SundaysClosed

WellOne Walk-In Clinic

Located in St. Joseph’s Health Centre. 30 The Queensway, Sunnyside Building, Main Floor East, this clinic is currently taking just virtual visits–Due to the COVID19  global situation– This came into notice as of mid April. Accepts OHIP.

Monday – Friday8am – 8pm
Saturday – SundayClosed

Patient Networks’ Walk-In Clinic

Located in 157 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M5C 1X7, this walk-in clinic is currently (as of today, 05-13-2020) only accepting patients that don’t have any type of symptoms related to COVID-19.

All other patients can go to the clinic, but are encouraged to refer to virtual visits and seek for telehealth first. OHIP visits are covered.

Monday – Friday8am – 4pm
WeekendsClosed

Enhanced Care Medical Clinic

Located in 225 The East Mall, Unit 9, Etobicoke Mews Plaza, On M9B 6J1, this walk-in clinic is still open and functions as usual. They are able to treat common illnesses and minor injuries. They also have a pharmacy available to get your prescriptions. Most fees are OHIP covered.

Monday10 am – 6pm
Tuesday9am – 7pm
Wednesday and Thursday10am – 7pm
Friday 10am – 5pm
Saturday10am – 3pm

East Liberty Medical Centre

Located in 901 King St W, Suite 105, Toronto, ON M5V 3H5, this clinic offer services like dermatology, chiropractic and even massages. Plus, their doctors and nurses are able to treat minor illnesses and injuries.

Most services are covered by OHIP.

Monday to Friday8am – 8pm
Saturdays10am – 4pm
Sundays9am – 3pm

East York Medical Health Centre

Located in East York Town Centre, 45 Overlea Blvd, Suite 27E, Toronto, On, M4H 1C3, this clinic offers services like laboratory services, referrals and treatments for minor illnesses and injuries.

Most services are covered by OHIP.

Monday to Friday9am – 7pm
Saturday10am – 4pm
Sunday11am – 3pm

MCI The Doctor’s Office

Located in 595 Bay Street, Toronto, On M5G 2R3, this walk-in clinic has a wide number of general doctors as well as specialists in dermatology available every day of the week. They are prepared to treat minor injuries and common illnesses.

Monday to Friday8am – 8pm
Saturday9am – 6pm
Sunday11am – 6pm

College Care Medical Walk-In Clinic

Located in in 343 College St, Toronto, On, M54 1S5, this walk-in medical clinic has qualified doctors and nurses ready to assess minor illnesses and injuries. They also have other services available like nutritionist, psychiatrists, and even cosmetic care.

Monday to Friday9am – 7pm
Saturday9am – 4pm
SundaysClosed

HealthCare Plus Medical Centre

Located in 1408 Queen St West, Toronto, Ontario, M6K 1L9, this walk-in clinic has available emergency service open 24/7, access to nurses and doctors, doctor’s notes and prescriptions. They are also available in case you’d prefer booking a visit than just walk-in. 

Monday to Friday8am – 8pm
Weekends8am – 6pm
Emergency services24/7

Northtown Medical

Located in 10 Northtown Way, Unit 108, Toronto, On M2N 7L4, Canada, this walk-in clinic offer different services like general health care, flu shots, family planning, sexual health counselling and testing, and driver’s medical examination.

Most services are covered by OHIP.

Monday to Friday9am – 12pm
WeekendsClosed

Good Health Medical Walk-In Clinic

Located in 1615 Dufferin St, Suite 301, Toronto On, M6H 4H4, this clinic offers general health care for common illnesses, and have multilingual staff for english speaking people, spanish and portuguese. 

Monday to Friday1pm – 5pm
WeekendsClosed

Markham McNicoll Urgent Care Centre

Located in 2901 Markham Rd, Unit 11, Toronto On, M1X 0B6, this clinic offers services like general and urgent care, treatment of medical illnesses like cough, cold, allergies.

Most services are covered by OHIP.

Monday to Friday9am – 9pm
Saturday9am – 4pm
Sunday12noon – 6pm

Eglinton Station Medical Centre

Located in Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 604, Toronto, On M4P 3A1, this is a medical center with walk-in hours available. They offer services such as general medicine, pediatric care, and urgent care.

Monday to Friday8am – 5pm
Saturday10am – 1pm
SundaysClosed

Appletree Medical Centre

Located in 728 Burloak Drive, Burlington, On L7L 0B1, this clinic offer services like blood tests, skin condition treatments, treatments for common illnesses like the flu, cold sores ear infections and more. Most services–including telehealth services–are covered by OHIP.

Monday to Friday8am – 7pm

These hours might change due to the COVID-19 situation.

Emkiro

Located in 70 University Ave. (Ground floor), Toronto, On, M5J 2M4, this clinic offers general medicine services, urgent care, and chiropractors, physiotherapists and RMTs are always available. Walk-in visits are covered by OHIP.

Monday to Friday7am – 7pm
WeekendsClosed

Infinity Healthcare

Located in 39 Lower Simcoe Street, Toronto, On, M5J 3A6, this clinic has five available medical physicians, has a previous booking system so you can skip the waiting room, and are able to treat minor common illnesses. OHIP visits are covered.

Monday to Friday8am – 8pm
Weekends10am – 3pm

Telehealth And Walk-In Clinics

A lot of people go to walk-in clinics because they need medical assistance and don’t know there are other options available. Options like telemedicine services where you can schedule a doctor’s visit without leaving your house.

Services like Maple, Telehealth Ontario, and Access Virtual. These are all telemedicine services available in Canada that help you connect with licensed nurses and doctors. 

If you’re from Ontario, you can take advantage of Telehealth Ontario whenever you need to. Same goes if you’re from British Columbia and have MSP, you can use EQ Virtual to talk to a doctor in case you need one. 

What We Recommend

However, if you’re planning to use a telehealth service, we recommend Maple. This one is available everywhere in Canada and all you need to contact a doctor is your phone or computer. 

With Maple, you can connect with a doctor in less than 2 minutes and decide whether you want to talk to them video text chat, audio or video call. They have different payment plans and you can even get sick notes and prescriptions.

Read our article about Maple and find out how it works, the different payment plans, what it offers, and how to use it.

Summary

To wrap this up, walk-in clinics are a great, valid option for anyone that needs medical care but doesn’t have access to a family doctor or health insurance. It shouldn’t be treated as emergency care, and you might have to wait to get diagnosed, but it’s still a valid help.

If you find yourself feeling a little bit off, and are willing to wait anywhere from ten minutes to an hour to get seen by a doctor, then a walk-in clinic is just a fine option for you.

However, telehealth services like Maple are always available. If you need to contact a doctor and can’t access a clinic or don’t want to expose yourself–especially during this COVID19 situation– we encourage you to use Maple.

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