NL taps Teladoc to boost care delivery
November 22, 2023
ST. JOHN’S, NL – As part of the provincial government’s efforts to re-imagine healthcare delivery in Newfoundland and Labrador, Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services (NL Health Services) will launch a new virtual care solution this fall that will increase access to healthcare for rural areas and residents who do not have a primary care provider.
“The expansion of virtual care services represents NL Health Services’ commitment to increasing access and reshaping the healthcare system as envisioned by Health Accord NL. Through the use of new technology, we are pleased to be able to offer virtual primary care and virtual emergency care services which will add new capacity for our health system, so that individuals can get care when and where they need it most,” said Stephen Greene (pictured), vice president, Digital Health and chief information officer, NL Health Services.
The virtual care service will include:
- Virtual primary care for residents who do not have a primary care provider and have registered on patient connect. This access will be through a virtual physician available Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.;
- A virtual emergency room that will ensure virtual physician coverage 24 hours per day, seven days per week to emergency departments in select rural healthcare facilities that do not have local physician coverage; and
- Other needed physician coverage such as urgent care centres.
A contract valued at $11 million annually has been awarded to Teladoc to provide virtual technology, as well as physician coverage for two years. The new virtual care service is another pathway to improving access to care.
“We are honoured to have been chosen as a partner by Newfoundland and Labrador for a visionary collaboration to deliver virtual emergency care and virtual primary care with Canadian clinicians located across the country,” said Joby McKenzie, managing director, Canada for Teladoc Health, Inc.
“These publicly funded programs will keep ERs open in rural and remote communities and add much-needed capacity to the health system, giving timely primary care services to patients who do not have a family doctor.”
The Provincial Government is also improving access through 19 previously announced Family Care Teams, and through a successful recruitment strategy that has recruited more than 72 doctors since April.
The service will begin with the launch of the Virtual Emergency Room at the Dr. Y. K. Jeon Kittiwake Health Centre in New-Wes-Valley this week and will expand to other communities in the following months.
More information on the virtual care service can be found at virtualcarenl.ca.
More details on the Provincial Government’s recent healthcare actions are available by visiting healthcareaction.ca. Details on recruitment of healthcare professionals are available by visiting workinhealthNL.ca.