Calgary Medical Facilities

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Emergency Phone Number

  • The emergency number for ambulance, fire and police -- throughout most of Canada and the USA -- is



  • If you have an acute medical emergency, you need to go to the emergency department of a hospital.
  • The admissions staff are forced to weigh the urgency of each patient's situation. Pain, on its own, unfortunately may not be an important enough factor to get you to the front of the line. People who are having heart attacks or those who have been smashed up in car accidents may be brought in by ambulance and may be rushed in ahead of you.
  • How long you will have to wait for treatment comes down to luck. If the emergency department is experiencing a flood of sick and injured people, you may have to wait for many hours. But, if the emergency department just happens to be experiencing a relative lull, you may be treated quite quickly.
  • Calgary has three hospitals that provide emergency medical care for people of all ages:
    • Foothills Medical Centre : 1403 - 29 Street NW, Telephone 403-944-1110
    • Peter Lougheed Centre : 3500 - 26 Avenue NE, Telephone 403-943-4555
    • Rockyview General Hospital : 7007 - 14 Street SW, Telephone 403-943-3000
  • Alberta Children's Hospital Calgary at 2888 Shaganappi Trail NW (Tel. 403-955-7211) provides emergency care for children up to the age of 18.

Urgent Care Centres

  • The Greater Calgary Area has three Urgent Care Centres.
  • They can cope with fairly serious emergencies, but do not have the full range of services that a hospital has.
  • An Urgent Care Centre can treat serious infections, severe dehydration, asthma attacks, broken bones, and other serious injuries.
  • If an Urgent Care Centre receives a patient whose needs are more intense than those that the Urgent Care Centre can address, the Urgent Care Centre will arrange for that patient to be transported to a hospital's emergency department.
  • The Urgent Care Centres are:
    • 8th and 8th Centre : 912 8th Avenue SW, Calgary, Telephone 403-781-1200, Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is the only walk-in medical facility in the downtown core.
    • South Calgary Health Centre : 31 Sunpark Plaza SE, Calgary, Telephone 403-943-9300, Open 8 am - 10 pm, 7 days a week
    • Okotoks Health and Wellness Centre : 11 Cimarron Common, Okotoks, Telephone 403-995-2600, Open 8 am - 10 pm, 7 days a week

Walk-in Clinics

  • A walk-in clinic is a good solution if you have not yet found a family doctor.
  • A walk-in clinic also is a good solution if a family member is ill in the evening or on a weekend, when your family doctor's office generally would be closed.
  • The Greater Calgary Area has 52 walk-in clinics.
  • Their hours of operation vary, but they generally are open during evenings and on weekends.
  • To find the clinic nearest you, use the Inform Alberta website.
  • In order to conduct a search, you need to plug in a postal code. If you don't have a Calgary postal code of your own, just plug in T2G 0X8. That is the postal code of the Tourism Calgary office in the downtown core. It is as good a postal code as any.
  • Note that some walk-in clinics operate family medical practices in parallel with walk-in emergency services. Walk-in patients usually are seen on a first-come-first-served basis. If someone arrives later than you but is taken in to see a doctor sooner than you, it is because he/she had an appointment to see his/her family doctor.

Family Doctors

  • It is quite a challenge to find a family doctor who is accepting new patients in the Calgary area.
  • You can use the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta website to find family doctors who are accepting new patients.


  • The dental care system is run along free enterprise lines.
  • Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan does not reimburse the cost of dental treatment.
  • There is no shortage of dentists.
  • Dentists tend to be good.
  • Dental care tends to be expensive.
  • If you have dental insurance through your employer, you will discover that it is a very helpful benefit.
  • Most dental insurance plans require the patient to pay a modest amount towards the cost of dental care, while the insurance plan pays the rest. For example, the plan might pay 100% of the cost of routine cleanings and check ups, 80% - 100% of the cost of fillings, and 50% - 80% of the cost of crowns. The generosity of the plan varies from employer to employer.
  • Most dental insurance plans impose an annual spending limit. For example, a plan might state that each patient is limited to a cleaning and check up once every six months, and there may be an annual spending limit on major restoration such as caps/crowns.
  • Most dental insurance plans impose a lifetime spending limit on orthodontic work (braces). The plan might pay for between a quarter and a third of the cost, and the young patient's parents are expected to pick up the rest of the cost. Although the cost is considerable, the burden is eased slightly by the fact that payments are spread out over the course of treatment.
  • If two parents receive medical and dental benefits from two different employers, usually both parents are allowed to claim reimbursement for their children's dental expenses. Let's suppose that your child needed braces. Let's suppose one parent was allowed to claim a quarter of the cost, and the other parent also was allowed to claim a quarter of the cost. This would mean that, instead of being reimbursed for only a quarter of the cost of your child's braces, in most cases you could be reimbursed for half of the cost.

Eye glasses

  • The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan covers the cost of vision tests for children and senior citizens, but not for adults.
  • However, there is no shortage of optometrists, and vision tests are inexpensive.
  • AHCIP does not cover the cost of prescription glasses, and they are expensive.
  • Even if you have a medical and dental insurance plan through your employer, you will find that the reimbursement for eye glasses does not even come close to covering their cost.
  • You can expect to pay $400 for a basic pair of prescription glasses from a no-frills supplier.
  • If you buy glasses from your optometrist, you can expect to pay something closer to $800.
  • You are not obliged to get your prescription filled by your optometrist's office. You can ask for a copy of the prescription, and get it filled at LensCrafters, Walmart, or Costco.

Provincial Health Care Insurance Plan

  • Please read the BE Wiki article entitled Alberta - Health Topics to find out how the provincial health care insurance plan works.

Related Information

  • This is one of a series of BE Wiki articles about Calgary.