Dietitians are regulated health professionals who use expertise in food and nutrition to enhance the lives and improve the health of Canadians. There are several ways to speak with a dietitian and many offer services virtually.
Dietitian services covered by provincial health insurance
- Your family doctor or specialist may be able to refer you to an outpatient clinic with access to a dietitian.
- If you belong to a Family Health Team or Primary Care Network, ask to speak to the dietitian who is part of the healthcare team.
- Public Health Units and Community Health Centres may offer counselling, free programs and workshops with access to a dietitian. Check your local health unit.
- If you receive home care services, you can call your case manager to see if they can have a home care dietitian come to the house. You usually do not need a referral from your doctor.
- If you have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, you can ask your doctor or self-refer to a publicly funded Diabetes Education Program.
- If you live in a long-term care home, you can speak to the dietitian who works at your home.
Paid dietitian services
- You can also see a dietitian and pay a fee for an appointment. Visit Find a Dietitian to find a dietitian near you. You can search by postal code, city and/or health condition. Most employee benefit plans cover dietitian services. Check your plan today. If your benefits don't cover dietitian services, share this resource with your employer.
- Some grocery stores and pharmacies offer appointments with a dietitian along with some programming like cooking demonstrations and workshops. Check with your local store.
- Dietitians also offer group programs, cooking workshops, workplace wellness presentations and more. Visit Find a Dietitian to find a dietitian near you offering these services.
Is there a way for me to speak with a dietitian by phone or email?
Provincial Call Centres:
These provinces have call centres where you can speak with a dietitian at no cost and no referral is needed:
- In Alberta, call 8-1-1 or visit the website.
- In British Columbia, call 8-1-1 or visit the website.
- In Manitoba, call toll free 1-877-830-2892 or 204-788-8248 in Winnipeg.
- In Ontario, call Health Connect Ontario toll-free at 8-1-1 or visit the website.
- In Newfoundland & Labrador, call 8-1-1 or send an email.
- In Saskatchewan, contact Eat Well Saskatchewan by phone 1-833-966-5541 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How much does it cost to see a private practice dietitian?
The cost to see a dietitian varies based on the experience and expertise of the dietitian, the type of appointment and your location. Follow-up appointments usually cost less than the initial appointment. The cost to see a private practice dietitian in Canada is not covered by provincial health insurance plans.
Ask your dietitian about their fees and check your employee benefits plan coverage before your first appointment. Most employee benefit plans cover dietitian services. If you do not have employee benefits, the costs of dietitian services are a medical expense and can be claimed as a tax credit in most provinces.
Do I need a doctor’s referral to see a dietitian?
You do not need a referral to book an appointment with a private practice dietitian. You may need a referral for dietitian services that are covered by provincial health insurance; it depends on the service or program and your province. You can ask your healthcare provider for more information about seeing a dietitian.
Dietitians need to be registered with the provincial regulatory body in their province to legally practice in Canada. These provincial regulatory bodies are in place to protect the public. Members of the public can contact their provincial regulatory body if they have a concern or complaint about a dietitian. To find a list of all dietitians registered to practice in your province, go to the website for the dietetic regulatory body in your province.
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Last Update – February 22, 2023