Discuss Canadian healthcare here.
Going to the emergency room for semi-emergencies
Advantages: ERs have some specialists and fancy medical equipment. It can be a faster way of getting some answers. However, you will want to show up with objective medical problems such as abnormal heartrate, heart palpitations, etc. etc.
- If you can safely drive yourself or get a ride to the hospital, do not call an ambulance. You will be billed for the ambulance.
- Hospitals have a triage system, which means that acute life-threatening problems get prioritized. What this means is that you will likely have to wait hours before a doctor sees you. You can bring snacks, a cell phone charger, something to read, etc.
- Bring your mask. But if you forget, they will give you one at the hospital.
- You usually can't bring guests, but check the COVID rules.
- Politely ask for copies of all of your medical tests. The ER doc may give you some but not all of them. It's good to ask the nurses for this type of question as their job is to assist the doctors.
Telemed is really convenient. It can be an easy way to get low-dose corticosteroids, statins, etc. A lot of the family doctors with walk-in clinics will also do telemed. You can sign up with them through any of the telemed platforms... or you can call their receptionist directly and setup an appointment.
The Ontario health questions hotline has a wait time of several hours, I wouldn't bother with that.
If you have any questions, feel free to tag u/GlennChan in your comment. Thanks!