VirtualCareNS, a program launched under the leadership of former Premier Iain Rankin, is set to build on its success with a province-wide expansion available to anyone on the Need a Family Practice Registry.
Government will invest an initial $1.3 million to support Nova Scotia Health to expand the VirtualCareNS pilot program to Central and Eastern zones beginning in December. This will ensure every person on the waitlist for a doctor has access to care while recruitment efforts are enhanced. The pilot program launched in Northern and Western zones last spring.
“We have heard from patients and providers that access to health care is a priority,” said Premier Tim Houston. “Virtual care offers a new means of seeing a primary-care provider for many people, and this expansion is a first step in ensuring every Nova Scotian has access to a form of primary care.”
VirtualCareNS enables people on the Need a Family Practice Registry to access a primary-care provider online through their computer or mobile device. It is a free program delivered using Maple, one of Canada’s leading virtual-care platforms.
Participants can use VirtualCareNS to access care for a variety of health concerns. If a patient’s health concerns can’t be resolved virtually, they will be provided with options for in-person care. Primary-care providers can also prescribe medications, order tests and make referrals for specialized care.