For Medical Emergencies, call 9-1-1. This number is for ambulance, fire, police, poison, or any other emergency. If you are in the school, you can use the telephone in the classroom to call 3000 to reach the security desk.
For non-emergency, 24-hour health information and referral, call Info-Santé at 8-1-1. Info-Santé has a nurse or doctor on duty every day and every night that you can talk to and ask questions. The nurse can tell you what to do if you are sick. They speak English and French.
- Clinics and Hospitals
- Visiting a Doctor
- Blue Cross Health Insurance
- Drug Stores – Pharmacies
- Staying Healthy
You should only go to a doctor for a serious problem. In most clinics, if you don’t have an appointment, you might have to wait a long time before you can see a doctor.
There are private clinics open 7 days a week near our school:
Métro Médic Centre Ville
1538 Sherbrooke West (corner of Guy) Map
Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
Week-end and holidays: 9am to 5pm
Clinique Médicale Alpha Medic
1253 Guy (corner Ste. Catherine) Map
Promed Medical and Dental
1250 Mansfield (corner Ste. Catherine) Map
Open Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm
If you need medical care when the clinic isn’t open, you should go to the emergency room of a hospital. Here are some major hospitals:
Montreal General Hospital
1650 Cedar Avenue (also on Côte-des-Neiges Road) Map
Bus 165 from Metro Guy-Concordia
Jewish General Hospital
5750 Côte-des-Neiges Road (corner of Côte Ste. Catherine) Map
Metro Côte-des-Neiges (Blue) or Metro Côte-Sainte-Catherine (orange)
MUHC Glen Site
This is a “super-hospital” that was opened in 2015. It includes the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Montreal Children’s Hospital, the Montreal Chest Institute, the Cedars Cancer Centre, the Research Institute and the Shriner’s Hospital.
1001 Decarie Boulevard Map
Metro Vendôme (orange)
Visiting a Doctor
In Canada, people don’t usually go to see a doctor when they have headache, mild fever or other symptoms of a cold. There are not many clinics and hospitals where you can go and quickly see a doctor – for a minor problem like a cold, you may have to wait few hours to see a doctor in Canada. So, Canadians only visit the doctor for check-ups and serious problems.
Normally people take medicines like aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen for such symptoms. You can buy these medicines in drug stores, so these are called “over the counter” medicines. Over the counter means you can buy it easily with no prescription from a doctor.
Often, even after you wait a long time to see a doctor for cold symptoms, she or he will tell you to take Tylenol or another over-the-counter medicine.
Some Headache and Fever medicine
Type / Generic name
Brands in Canada
acetaminophen / paracetamol
Tylenol / drug store brand
Advil, Motrin/ Aleve / drug store brand
acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) / aspirin
Aspirin / drug store brand
McGill Dental Clinic
The McGill Dental Clinic is located near our building, on Sherbrooke Street. It provides regular check-ups, cleanings, fillings, root canals, and referrals to specialists. Please note that Blue Cross health insurance does NOT cover dental fees, nor does provincial healthcare. They charge standard rates, but give McGill students a 10% discount.
McGill Dental Clinic
752 Sherbrooke West
McGill Dental Clinic Website
The government requires all international students to have group medical insurance at their school. McGill’s international students have to use Blue Cross. If you are a permanent resident or Canadian citizen, you don’t need extra insurance, you are covered by provincial government health insurance plans.
Mandatory Blue Cross Health Insurance
You will be given your Blue Cross Insurance Contract, your Blue Cross Booklet , as well as your Blue Cross card at the Orientation Session. Please sign the contract and return it to the Student Affairs Office. Your Blue Cross insurance card must be presented when visiting a doctor. When you visit a hospital or health clinic, you will have to pay up front for services and then claim a reimbursement.
Typically, a consultation with a doctor will cost approximately $100, of which $80 is refundable by Blue Cross. The clinic may charge more, but Blue Cross may not refund everything. A consultation with a specialized doctor will cost slightly more. If you visit a McGill University Health Centre hospital (MUHC – this is all the English hospitals listed above), then you don’t have to pay cash. To make a claim, complete the Extended Health Care Benefits Claim Form available in your booklet. Claim payments are processed in 2 to 3 weeks.
If you want to buy medicine in Montreal, you need to go to a drug store. In Canada, you can’t get some types of medicine unless you have a special note from a doctor called a prescription. [ordonnance] When you see the doctor and he or she gives you a special note to buy medicine, you can take it to any drug store to buy it.
Go to the back of the store and look for the sign that says “Pharmacy” [pharmacie]. You have to give the note to the pharmacist, who will prepare your prescription. You will have to wait a little while for them to call your name, and when you get your medicine, the pharmacist will explain how to take it, and give you some papers. It is important that you ask questions if you don’t understand.
If you have a prescription from a doctor in your country and you need more medicine, you have to go to a doctor in Canada to get a new prescription. Drug stores in Canada do not accept prescriptions from doctors in other countries. When you see the doctor in Montreal, tell her or him about your prescription from before and the reason for it, and she or he will write a new one for you.
You will have to pay for the medicine (and sometimes it is expensive), but you can get some of the money back from your Blue Cross Health Insurance. You have to fill in the forms and send them to the company to get the money back. If you are a citizen or permanent resident in Quebec, you are covered by a provincial drug insurance plan.
There are some drug stores near our school:
677 Sainte Catherine Street West (in the Complexe des Ailes shopping centre at McGill Metro)
Open every day 8:00 am until 12:00 midnight
There is another Jean Coutu on the corner of Sherbrooke and Parc Avenue.
390 Sainte Catherine Street
Open every day 8:00 am until 10:00
24-Hour Drug Store
There is a 24-Hour drug store in Montreal:
Metro Côte-des-Neiges (blue) Map
McGill Athletics and Recreation
The McGill Athletic facilities are available for students’ use at approximately $8 a day (for a day pass), or $59 monthly. The facilities include tennis courts, squash courts and swimming pools. There are classes for many different activities. McGill has two swimming pools available to students. Weston Pool is located at 555B Sherbrooke St. W. and Memorial Pool is located in the main athletic complex on Pine Avenue.
It is important to stay healthy when you studying abroad. Information about diet, exercise, stress, sexuality and more – coming soon!