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. The dietitian in these clinics is covered by your provincial health insurance.
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 offer counselling, free programs and workshops with access to a dietitian. Criteria to access these services will depend on the program and organization.
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 physician.
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.
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 offer a fee for service appointment with a dietitian along with some free 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 or visit the website.
In Ontario, call Telehealth Ontario toll-free at 1-866-797-0000.
In Newfoundland & Labrador, call 8-1-1 or send an email.
In Saskatchewan, contact Eat Well Saskatchewan. You can speak to a dietitian Monday to Thursday between 10 am – 4 pm (CST) by phone 1-833-966-5541 or email email@example.com
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.
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Last Update – December 1, 2020