14 Virtual Care Services in Canada You Need to Know About

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Telehealth services available in CanadaImage Credit: Shutterstock

Canada’s Telehealth Services

There are many telehealth services available that can provide help to Canadians with non-emergency concerns. This can include anything from body aches to mental health stressors. This year in particular, with the pandemic’s negative impact on Canadians’ mental health and the incoming winter months bringing SAD (seasonal affective disorder) with it, accessible and timely mental healthcare will be all the more important.

Luckily, there is a range of doctors, mental health professionals, and wellness experts on the other side of your tech to answer your questions, help you feel better, and give you a prescription when needed. Available through websites or through apps on your phone, telehealth can be super convenient, effective, and affordable. In fact, some patients say they’re more comfortable talking to a healthcare professional at home than in a doctor’s office.

Of course, not everyone is a good candidate for telehealth. Dr. Howard Ovens, Chief Medical Strategy Officer, Sinai Health System and staff emergency physician at Mount Sinai Hospital, reminds Canadians that if they have an emergency, the best way to receive treatment is by visiting the emergency room. “Some people are really sick, either related to COVID or all the other things we always see in the emergency department (appendicitis, broken bones, heart attacks), and they need attention,” he says. “We want them to feel safe and come in to get assessed.”

Below, a list of telehealth services available in Canada.

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Telehealth services available in CanadaImage Credit: Shutterstock

Provincial Telehealth Services

There are a variety of free and confidential telehealth services run by the public health authorities in each province and territory. Though services differ slightly from province to province, generally these government-run programs link users with healthcare professionals (such as public health nurses) through the phone. Once on the phone, users can ask for medical advice on a range of non-emergency topics such as whether or not to handle the situation at home or if the issue requires a visit to the doctor’s office. Many of these provincial services also have COVID-19 self-assessments which can help determine next steps if you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

(Related: 8 Best Physical Activities for Social Distancing)

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