Frequently asked questions

Question Regarding: The Ottawa Newcomer Clinic 

Does the Ottawa Newcomer Clinic serve ALL newcomers to Ottawa?

Currently the Ottawa Newcomer Clinic has the capacity to serve government assisted refugees (GARs), with the hopes to be able to expand the services to refugee claimants in the future.

I am a government assisted refugee, how can I access services at the Ottawa Newcomer Clinic?

In order to access services individuals are requested to bring with them all relevant documents, their Interim Federal Health (IFH) certificate with expanded coverage, their Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) card, and any previous health records.

Do I need to be referred to the Ottawa Newcomer Clinic?

Individuals don’t need a referral; however everyone needs to make an appointment in order to access services. In order to connect with the clinic, call 613-691-0192 ext 6002, or in person at 219 Argyle Ave. (lower level), Ottawa, ON, K2P2H4.

Will I get a family doctor at the Ottawa Newcomer Clinic? 

The service providers at the Ottawa Newcomer Clinic will be you primary care providers until you are connected with a primary care provider or family doctor in the community.

Once I find a family doctor, can I still come back and receive services at the Ottawa Newcomer Clinic?

Once you are connected to a primary care provider/family doctor in the community, you will no longer be seen at the Ottawa Newcomer Clinic. However, if you have initiative treatment for inactive Tuberculosis at our clinic, you are able to receive and complete the treatment at our clinic.

Will I have access to an interpretation support ?

Yes, individuals with limited English or French Proficiency can have access to a wide range of language interpretation support at the Ottawa Newcomer Clinic.

How can I find out about employment opportunities at clinic?

Please visit the careers opportunities page of this website, or contact the clinic at 613-691-0192 ext 6001


Question Regarding: Multicultural Health Navigator Program 

What is a Multicultural Health Navigator?

Multicultural Health Navigators assist clients by helping individuals navigate through the Canadian healthcare system and connect them access services in the community. Navigators provide education, community connections, advocacy support and bridge the gap between clients and service providers empowering individuals to make informed choices regarding their health.

What communities does the Multicultural Health Navigator assist?

Currently our Multicultural Health Navigator team provides support in 8 languages, Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Nepali, Pashto, Spanish, Swahili, Somali,

What are working hours for Multicultural Health Navigator?

Hours of navigators vary however the best way to connect with your navigator is to call their direct line and leave a message. For more general information regarding specific navigators call 613-691-0192.

What if I don’t speak any of the languages mentioned?

If you are able to communicate comfortable in English, we may be able to accept your referral.

Can I call my health navigator for interpretation support?

No, your health navigator may speak your language but they are not professional interpreters and should not be called upon for interpretation support.

Can my Navigator come to all of my medical appointments?

Navigator’s objective is to empower clients and encourage them to learn how to navigate the healthcare system on their own. Navigators will not be able to accompany clients to all their medical appointments. Navigators may accompany clients to their initial meet and greet appointments with family doctors; however this will be on a case by case basis.

Can my health care navigator give me medical advice?

No. Although many of our health care navigators have educational and professional backgrounds in the health field, they are not trained licensed medical professionals. Navigators will support clients and help them get connected to the right resources in the community, but will not provide client with medical or legal advice.

Why can’t a family member or loved one be my health care navigator?

Although your family members may provide support, its best practice to rely on the services of professional multicultural health navigators who have been trained, have experience, qualification and key knowledge of community resources available to clients.

What if I no longer require the services of Multicultural Health Navigator?  

Health navigators will work with clients up to 2 years, however if it is determined that client no longer needs the support of a navigator and is able to navigate the healthcare system, client can be discharged from the program. If client at a future date requires assistance once again, discharged clients can approach the program for support once again if there is a need.

How can I find out about employment opportunities at clinic?

Please visit the careers opportunities page of this website, or contact the clinic at 613-691-0192 ext 6001


Question Regarding: Ottawa Language Access Program (OLA) 

Which programs and services can receive interpretation support from Ottawa Language Access Program?

Ottawa Language Access (OLA) is a free interpretation services for selected Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) funded programs that provide support Limited English French Proficiency (LEFP) clients. OLA provides support in three main criteria areas: diabetes and chronic diseases; seniors’ health and mental health and addictions (including problem gambling).

 What are your hours of operation?

Our office is open from 9:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday in order to connect with a representative please call, 613-288-2652 and press 2.

Why should I request a trained health interpreter?

Trained health interpreters are professional, effective, accurate, and impartial at all times; professional health interpreters will maintain a client’s confidentiality and will not disclose any personal details of the client.  Providers should always rely on the services of professional interpreter to ensure information is accurately being conveyed to clients and maintain the clients safely. Professional interpreter are bound by a code of ethics and strict standard of practice.

Can I use my friend or family member to interpreter for me at an a medical appointment?

We highly recommend that individuals do not use family members, friends or community members to provide interpretation. Using the services of untrained interpreters can result in increase amount of errors, omissions, incomplete information being delivered and breached confidentiality of clients. In order to ensure the safety of clients and highest quality of care, professional interpreters should always be used.  

I’m new to Canadian and I need interpretation services, can I place a individual request for interpretation support for an appointment? 

Only registered programs can place requests on behalf of their clients accessing services, individual community member can not place requests for interpretation support for their person appointments.

What type of “qualifications” do trained professional health interpreters have?

All interpreters working with OLA are required to have successfully completed the following: an interpreting language skills assessment test (CILISAT) for all working languages, a recognized training program in the core competencies of community interpretation, and a recognized course in medical terminology. In addition, all OLA interpreters are covered by errors and omissions and general liability insurance and are bound by confidentiality, conflict of interest agreements, and the interpreter’s code of ethics

What types of interpreter services does Ottawa Language Access provide?

Programs who are affiliated with OLA have access to various modes of interpretation; we provide face-to-face interpretation, group interpretation, over the phone interpretation, message relay services and conference call interpretation.

How do I request a professional health interpreter?

In order to be connected to you can

  • Call OLA office at (613) 288-2652 then press 2
  • By fax at (613) 288-0909
  • By email:
  • Online through our website on ‘book an interpreter’ link

Can I request a male or female interpreter?

Yes. If you would prefer an interpreter of a particular gender, when you call to place a request informs the representative and they will try to accommodate your request.

Will I be charged for these services?

Programs who have applied to gain access to OLA, are LHIN funded and provide services in one or more of the three criteria areas: diabetes and chronic diseases; seniors’ health and mental health and addictions (including problem gambling), will not be charged for interpretation services.

How do I provide feedback to Ottawa Language Access?

We encourage all service providers to provide feedback about our services, please feel free to complete an evaluation forms, email or call us at 613-288-2652 press “2”

How can I find out about employment opportunities at OLA?

Interpreters who have successfully completed or are interested in completing: CILISAT/LISAT, community interpretation training and medical terminology training, and who are interested in joining our pool of interpreters can contact OLA by calling 613-288-2652 press “2” or email