Getting medical tests

Why you need medical tests

As immigrants and refugees, you are given diagnostic tests before you arrive in Canada to be sure you do not have serious diseases that could spread from person to person.

Once you arrive in Canada, additional diagnostic tests are given to ensure that you are still in good health. The Ottawa Newcomer Clinic will connect you with a doctor or health-care team that will provide you with all the medical exams and tests that you need. These diagnostic tests can find health problems as early as possible, when your chances of treatment and cure are much better.

Your doctor or health-care team will give you a piece of paper that lists all the medical tests you need to have done. You can go to any medical lab in the city where you have insurance coverage to have those tests done.

Where to get medical tests free of charge

If you have health insurance under OHIP or IFHP, be sure to bring your certificate or photo health card with you to the medical lab of your choice. You will be asked to present the document to the staff. Those documents serve as proof that the cost of your medical tests will be paid for by the government.

All blood tests and diagnostic imaging are generally covered by OHIP or IFHP. However, it is always best to ask. For example, the test for vitamin D deficiency now costs about $30. Most labs will charge this fee to you because it is not covered by IFHP or OHIP.

One way to get this test free of charge is to go to a medical lab at your local hospital. Hospitals can provide interpreters for scheduled appointments. If an interpreter is required, request one when you book the appointment.

Some labs do not accept IFHP. A large chain that does is Gamma Dynacare, which has 10 locations across Ottawa:

381 Kent Street (at Gilmour Street)
Suite 1000
Ottawa, K2P 2A8
Office: 613-237-2686
Hours: Monday to  Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

100 Marie Curie Private (at King Edward Avenue)
Suite 203
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Office: 613-569-5283
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

150 Montreal Road (at Vanier Parkway)
Suite 100
Ottawa, K1L 8H2
Office: 613-742-7627
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

15, Boulevard Montclair (at Boulevard St-Joseph)
Suite 202
Gatineau, Quebec, J8Y 2E2
Office: 819-770-1321
Hours: Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed for lunch daily between noon and 1 p.m.)

1105 Carling Avenue (at Holland Avenue)
Suite 105
Ottawa, K1Y 4G5
Office: 613-729-3696
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

750 Peter Morand Crescent (near Smyth Road)
Ottawa, K1G 6S4
Office: 613-729-0200 x 6310
Hours: Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

1385 Bank Street (at Kilborn Avenue)
Suite B1
Ottawa, K1H 8N4
Office: 613-733-4596
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

595 Montreal Road (at St. Laurent Boulevard)
Suite 110
Ottawa, K1K 4L2
Office: 613-742-6424
Hours: Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

195, Boulevard Gréber (at Chemin de la Savane)
Gatineau, Quebec, J8T 6K2
Office: 819-568-2975
Hours: Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (closed for lunch daily between noon and 1 p.m.)

770 Broadview Avenue (at Carling Avenue)
Suite B9
Ottawa, K2A 3Z3
Office: 613-729-2267
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Remember that some tests require you to be on an empty stomach. Other tests, such as ultrasounds, may require you to drink water before the imaging is done. For those reasons, it is best to have the tests done early in the morning.

While most X-rays do not usually require you to have an appointment, other medical imaging tests, such as ultrasounds, do require an appointment.

See a complete list of diagnostics and imaging labs.