Newfoundland gets $4.5 million to expand virtual care
August 11, 2021
ST. JOHN’S, NL – The government of Canada has announced an investment of over $4.5 million to expand virtual healthcare services in Newfoundland and Labrador. Under the agreement, the funds will be invested based on agreed-upon pan-Canadian priorities for accelerating virtual telemedicine, which has been instrumental for delivering care during the pandemic and are helping to improve access to much needed services.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, now more than ever Canadians need access to virtual healthcare services. This bilateral agreement is another great example of governments working together to support the health and wellbeing of the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. These investments will support the deployment of virtual care, adapting to both the challenges of the pandemic and preparing our health systems for the future,” said Patty Hajdu (pictured), Canada’s minister of health.
For his part, John Haggie, Newfoundland and Labrador’s health minister, said: “Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the benefits of technology and virtual care for patients and healthcare providers alike. We have heard about the positive experiences from people and providers who have used these services. Virtual care offers the convenience of care from home, allowing people the ability to access health services from wherever they are across the province.”
On May 3, 2020, the Prime Minister announced an investment of $240.5 million to increase access to virtual services and digital tools to support Canadians’ health and well-being. $150 million of that funding will 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.
The funding is in addition to up to $50 million in incremental federal funding allocated to Canada Health Infoway to further support provincial and territorial efforts to rapidly implement new initiatives in keeping with the five priority areas.
Health Canada is building on this investment by working with provinces and territories on related policy issues. This will enable the longer-term adoption of high-quality and safe virtual healthcare services as a complement to in-person care.
To date, funding agreements totaling over $109 million have been announced for 10 provinces and territories, including: Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Nunavut, and Newfoundland and Labrador.