Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews said Tuesday the province is in the early stages of looking at ways to make telehealth accessible to patients in the province.
She said there will be two types of coverage, one for patients with serious illnesses and one for people with minor illnesses.
The province has already made some progress on both, but Matthews said the focus is on improving the coverage.
She also said the province will be rolling out a pilot program over the next two months that will allow for patients to be seen at home, where they can be cared for.
Matthews said patients will be able to get health care services when they are home, and that they will also be able access a nurse or doctor at home if they need them.
The province is also working to create a national registry of patients who need urgent medical attention in the community.
She hopes the registry will help patients find resources for urgent care in the same way they would find services at home.
“This will be a national network of health care providers that will provide a platform to connect to those who need medical care,” Matthews said.
Newspaper and radio advertisements will be rolled out in the coming weeks, Matthews said, as the province begins to explore ways to improve the quality of care for residents. “
That is the vision, and it’s a good vision.”
Newspaper and radio advertisements will be rolled out in the coming weeks, Matthews said, as the province begins to explore ways to improve the quality of care for residents.
She said the goal is to be able by 2021 to have the province’s first telemedicine clinic on the street.
She did not have a timeframe for when that might be.
But the province said it will also launch a national telehealth registry by 2021, which will be used to help guide patients who want to receive medical care in Ontario.
The government said it is also investing in a pilot project with Ontario’s largest hospital system, St. Michael’s Hospital.
That project, which is also in the process of getting off the ground, will be funded through a $6.4-million public-private partnership.