Ontario gets $46M to expand virtual healthcare
April 21, 2021
OTTAWA – The Honourable Patty Hajdu (pictured), minister of health, announced the signature of a bilateral agreement with Ontario to enhance the province’s virtual health services. Ontario will receive $46 million to expand its efforts on virtual healthcare.
“Now more than ever, Canadians need access to virtual healthcare to support their health. We are working with provinces and territories to support the rapid deployment of these services for Canadians, to ensure they can access the care they need, whenever they need it,” said Minister Hajdu. “Today’s investment will support Ontario in its expansion of virtual healthcare services, ensuring Ontarians have health services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Back on May 3, 2020, Prime Minister Trudeau announced an investment of $240.5 million to increase access to virtual services and digital tools to support Canadians’ health and wellbeing.
$150 million of that funding was to be provided to provinces and territories through targeted bilateral agreements aimed at expanding virtual health services in five priority areas for immediate action to support further embedding these services within Canadian health systems, namely:
- secure messaging and file transfer
- secure video conferencing
- remote patient monitoring technologies
- patient access to their COVID-19 and other lab results; and
- back-end supports for integration and/or alignment of these new platforms or existing tools.
Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, added, “As we have seen more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that all provinces and territories have the resources we need to deliver high-quality virtual healthcare services to our people – when and where they need it. This investment will support our government’s Digital First for Health strategy to leverage digital innovations that will improve access to timely, patient-centred care for Ontarians and bring the patient experience into the twenty-first century.”