Frequently Asked Questions

We know your health can sometimes be confusing that is why we are here to help.

See some of your frequently asked questions listed below.

Do you take appointments as well as walk-ins?

Yes! While it’s true there is no appointment necessary in many cases, many of our doctors specialize in family medicine as well as episodic care. If you are in need of a family doctor, please let us know and we can find one to best suit you.

Typically, how long is the wait?

Wait times can vary from day to day, hour to hour.  We now post our estimated wait times online and they are updated every 15 minutes. You can also check the clinic hours for the day, along with the doctor schedules. Click here to see current wait times.

The doctor sent me for tests, what happens now?

Once you’ve had the tests completed, in most cases it can take between 2-5 business days to receive your results. In certain cases, tests may take longer than a week. If the doctor feels you need to return to the clinic for a follow up, you will receive a phone call. If, after reviewing your tests, the doctor concludes that there is no need for you to return to the clinic, you will not receive a call. If you are still experiencing symptoms or are curious about your results, please call us to book a follow up appointment with your doctor.

Will you give test results over the phone?

No. When it comes to the privacy of our patients, Medicentres will not compromise our commitment as gatekeepers of your information. For your convenience, you can visit any one of our clinics and see any of our doctors to review your test results or call us to book a follow up appointment.

My doctor is sending me to a specialist or for an MRI/CT scan. How long will I have to wait for an appointment?

Wait times for appointments vary by specialty and can range greatly for certain elective procedures. Our medical and administrative team will do their utmost to find you the best option for a specialist with the shortest wait time. Most specialists book appointments based on urgency rather than a first-come-first-serve basis. If you have questions regarding wait times by specialty, please contact or visit us for more information. 

Does Medicentres have their own specialists?

Yes. We have our own specialists working at our clinics. If you have any questions about our specialty services, please find out more by clicking here, ask your doctor or speak to one of our reception staff.

I haven't heard anything about my referral. How do I find out what the status is?

Many specialist offices will only contact the patient when the appointment is ready to be booked. We cannot provide any updates over the phone but if you have any immediate concerns regarding the status of your referral, you may visit any Medicentres location to obtain an update. If your symptoms persist or worsen, you may also contact us to arrange a visit with your doctor.

All I need is my prescription refilled. Do I have to wait?

Not necessarily. Our Fastrack Program is also available in the evenings and on weekends! The Fastrack Program is for routine visits such as: prescription refills, bladder infections, injections, wart treatment, eye infections, ear pain, minor strains/sprains, minor cuts and bruises, stitch removal, and travel consultations/immunizations. Speak to our reception staff or call us so that we may determine your eligibility and book an appointment!

I've been here before; do I have to bring my Alberta Health Care Card?

Yes. The validity of your insurance must be verified on every visit. You must be registered with the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan in order to receive publicly funded health care coverage. If you do not have your Alberta Health Care Card, but can obtain the number, our staff will ask for photo identification and validate the information with Alberta Health. This process is done to ensure that we have the correct person and the Alberta Health Care number provided is valid. This process also helps to prevent identity theft and fraud.

If you are unable to provide an Alberta Health Care number and Photo Identification, or the number cannot be validated, you may be required to pay for your visit, as well as any outstanding invoices.

To obtain a replacement card, contact Alberta Health at 780 427-1432 or visit a participating registry.

What is an annual physical and why do I need one?

An annual physical is a complete physical exam that can include blood work, checking your height, weight and blood pressure. For women, a pap test may be done, and for men of a certain age, a prostate exam. Yearly check-ups are an important part of preventative care, especially for people with certain risk factors. If you have questions about risk factors, or have concerns about your health, please ask your doctor.

I have a family doctor, but I would like to see a female doctor for an exam. Do you have female doctors who do this?

Yes. We have Women’s Health Clinics throughout Calgary and Edmonton. You can book an appointment with a female doctor to discuss women’s health concerns, or have a routine female exam. Click here to view our gynecologist page. To book with one of our female family physicians or gynecologists call us or ask our reception staff about locations and bookings. 

If I am concerned about my illness or how I am feeling, is there a physician I can speak to after the clinic is closed?

If you require immediate medical attention, please call 911 or visit your nearest hospital emergency department. Medicentres does not provide emergency care. If you feel that your health concern is serious, but not an emergency; or have concerns regarding your health, please contact the Health Link line.

Canada-wide toll-free number:  1-866-408-5465

If you are a regular patient at Medicentres, you can contact the after hours on-call service for further information.

In Edmonton, please call 780-489-7246
In Calgary, please call 403-266-0421

Do I need to bring anything with me to the clinic when I see my physician?

Please remember to bring your provincial health care card and photo identification with you to the clinic. Provincial health care coverage is provided to valid card holders at no cost. You must be registered with the provincial health care insurance plan in order to receive publicly funded health care coverage. If you are on medications, please bring all of your medications with you.

If you do not have your provincial health care card, but can obtain the number, our staff will ask for photo identification and validate the information with provincial health. This process is done to ensure that we have the correct person and provincial health care number provided is valid. This process also helps to prevent identity theft and fraud.

If you are unable to provide an provincial health care Number and photo identifications, or the number cannot be validated, you will be required to pay for your visit, as well as any outstanding invoices.

Can I get a referral to a specialist from a Medicentres physician?

Referrals to a specialist will be made when the family physician deems necessary. All referrals are made in writing to the specialist, usually within 10 days of your visit to your doctor. You will be contacted by phone or letter by either Medicentres staff or the specialist’s staff with regards to your appointment date and time. If the specialist requires you to call and confirm your appointment and you fail to do so as instructed, your appointment may be cancelled by the specialist’s office. Should you for any reason not be able to attend your appointment or need to change the date or time, you will need to contact the office of the specialist on your own to reschedule. Please be aware that specialists may also charge for missed appointments.

Can I see a physician if I live in another province or have recently moved?
Your provincial health care card and photo identification will usually provide coverage for most of the standard medical services offered at Medicentres. This health care number will need to be validated at the time you are registered to see the physician. There are some provinces in which we are unable to verify the health care number at the time of your visit. If we are unable to verify your provincial health care number, you will be required to pay for the services provided at the time you are registered. You will be issued a receipt and then apply for reimbursement through your provincial plan.
What are “uninsured services”?

It is important to realize that provincial health only pays for “essential services“, not for services that it deems “non-essential“. Some services are NOT covered and each individual must pay for these services at the time of registration. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Aviation medicals
  • Immigration medicals
  • Pre-employment medicals
  • Drivers’ Medicals
  • Medical certificates, sick notes, maternity leave forms, etc
  • Third party request forms (e.g. Insurance forms)¸
  • Motor vehicle accident reports
  • Chart transfers or chart copies
  • Travel medicine advice and immunizations
How do I know my medical information will be kept private and confidential?
Our physicians and staff collect and record information according to the guidelines of the Health Information Act (HIA). Your information is kept secure and disclosed only with your written consent unless it is for continuity of care and treatment or in particular situations according to the guidelines of the HIA.