Access to the Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler
Every citizen with a Québec Health Insurance Card can access the Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler. Non-eligible citizens (e.g., those having been outside Québec for an extended period) or those whose Health Insurance Card is expired can still schedule an appointment. They will be notified, however, that they must normalize their situation before attending their appointment.
The clinic is responsible for making sure that patients are covered by the Québec public health insurance plan when they attend their appointment.
By using the Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler, citizens consent to RAMQ for the communication of their personal information and, if applicable, information about their family doctor to medical clinics and doctors so that their request for a medical appointment can be processed.
Citizens also consent to medical clinics and doctors for the storage and use of their personal information and, if applicable, information relating to their family doctor in order to improve the services related to the management of their appointment requests, for as long as the services related to the management of appointments are offered to them. They are free to withdraw consent at any time by giving reasonable notice to the medical clinic or physician they are consulting.
Citizens understand that all personal information they provide, and disclosed by RAMQ when using the Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler is protected in accordance with the Québec Health Insurance Act, the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information, Act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector, and any other applicable legislation.
RAMQ cares about the protection of citizens’ privacy on the Internet. Consequently, citizens are invited to carefully read the Confidentiality policy about the Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler and the Security section.
Protection and confidentiality of information
RAMQ, via the the Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler, ensures the protection and confidentiality of information transmitted by security measures it has implemented, in compliance with its legal obligations in this matter.
Clinics are nevertheless responsible for protecting the information transmitted to them by taking, at their level, the appropriate security measures. The clinics must adopt all measures necessary to avoid adversely affecting the security of the information in their possession. Protecting information consists not only in not disclosing it to a non-authorized person, but in not exposing the information to any risks.
Even if RAMQ uses leading-edge technology to protect the information in the Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler, it cannot take the place of clinics and citizens in carrying out their responsibilities or accept responsibility for any actions resulting from their use of the online service.
The Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler is a service offered free of charge by the Québec government through RAMQ. No fee whatsoever is billed for scheduling an appointment with this online service.
However, clinics, at their discretion, may bill patients for missing or cancelling an appointment or for being late. RAMQ is not responsible for any such fee, which is not reimbursable.
At any time, RAMQ may change or temporarily interrupt the Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler, for instance, to improve the service, without prior notification to clinics and citizens. RAMQ is not liable for any prejudice resulting from these changes or temporary interruptions.
Synchronization with the orchestrator
The Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler is aligned with the government appointment orchestrator (Hub). It is an IT solution for harmonizing and managing appointments with front-line health professionals. It improves access to appointment booking in medical clinics by showing all available slots according to the type of consultation, regardless of the appointment booking platform used by the clinics. Despite the efforts expended, the Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler is not immune to synchronization problems with this orchestrator. RAMQ cannot in any way be held liable for any prejudice caused by such a problem.
Search within a distance range of a postal code
One feature of the Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler allows for searching available appointments in clinics within a given distance range (perimeter) of a postal code set by a person. By offering “general” available time-slots, the clinics enable citizens located within this search perimeter to obtain an appointment in their clinic.
The postal code perimeter is as the crow flies and does not take into account driving distances. The actual driving distance may be greater. Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler users alone must determine whether the distance is acceptable.
Text message transmittal (SMS)
RAMQ assumes the cost of automated text messages sent via the Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler.
Additional fees for text messages and Internet data may apply depending on the users’ contract with their cell phone provider (e.g., a package not covering text message reception). RAMQ is not liable for these fees. In case of doubt, users are invited to check the details of their cell phone package with their provider.
SMS reminders are sent between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Standard text messaging fees (SMS)
The RAMQ text messaging service is provided without any additional fee to anyone having a cell phone with a pre-paid package or monthly package covering text messaging (standard fee). The fee applicable for the RAMQ common short code 64636 number is the same as that applicable for sending a text message to a close relation. In case of doubt, users are invited to contact their cell phone company to avoid additional fees.
Text messages sent by RAMQ may contain a hyperlink. If the user clicks on the link, data fees will apply according to the cell phone package. These are the same data fees as those applicable when accessing the Internet with a cell phone. In case of doubt, users are invited to contact their cell phone company to avoid additional fees.
Stop and Start
The RAMQ text messaging service is not a subscriber service. No unsolicited text message may be received from the RAMQ common short code number. It is possible to block the receipt of text messages from this number by changing the communication preferences in the Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler for each appointment taken, using the unique reference number.
Automated telephone calls
All automated telephone calls (confirmations and reminders) are sent out between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. to the number indicated in the “Home telephone” field. By selecting “Telephone” in the preferred means of communication, citizens accept that certain information (including their first name, the date and time of the medical appointment, and the name of the clinic) will be read to them by the automated voice system when they pick up the receiver. If they are absent and have voice mail, an automated message will be left. If they do not answer at the first automated call, a second call will be made three hours later.
For an appointment confirmation, there is a 10-minute lag between the time the appointment is made and the time an automated message is issued. If both the confirmation and reminder are slated for the same day, only the confirmation will be issued.
Confirmation and reminder emails sent to citizens are partially personalized by the clinics. RAMQ is not liable for the content of the personalized portion of these emails.
Appointment confirmations are sent in the minutes following the scheduling of the appointment in the Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler. Reminders are issued between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
It is possible that emails may wind up in the spam (junk mail) folder. Citizens are responsible for checking their incoming emails.
The clinic is responsible for establishing the deadline given to patients for canceling appointments online. The deadline, varying according to clinic, is 24 h or less before the appointment. Past this deadline, patients are invited to call the clinic directly to cancel an appointment. In such case, the clinic may charge a cancelation fee.
Links to other websites
The Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler may direct users to other websites. This does not mean that it approves of the content of these sites nor of the content of sites accessible through them. Given that RAMQ is unable to monitor these sites, it cannot guarantee the accuracy and completeness of their content, advertisements, products, services or other materials made available by or through such external sites or sources. Furthermore, RAMQ cannot be held liable for any damage or loss resulting from the use of these other websites.
Some information entered by clinics will be used for producing emails, text messages (SMS) and automated telephone calls, including for appointment confirmations and reminders. Citizens and clinics must be vigilant when entering this information.
The brand name Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler is the property of RAMQ, which holds the exclusive intellectual property rights thereto.
The service Québec Medical Appointment Scheduler is governed by the law applicable in Québec. Any dispute related to the access or use of this service will be submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of Québec courts.