Recent developments have made many healthcare services available virtually so you can access them with ease from the comfort of your own home. You can get health advice, connect with a physician, refill a prescription and more on the phone, via email, or a video call. A number of free virtual healthcare services are available, and I have listed them below in the resources section.
Since virtual healthcare is becoming more of a norm now a days, I thought I should write about some of the important things to keep in mind when accessing it.
First and foremost, if you have a medical emergency, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency department. Virtual healthcare is better suited for non-emergent care.
Check whether the service you are accessing is free, paid , or covered by an extended insurance plan. Choose a service that suits your needs.
If you are going to make a phonecall, try to ensure minimal disturbance and background noise. If you are planning to get a video consultation, check your internet connection.
Always be wary of sharing personal details like your health card number, credit card details etc. with someone online if you are unsure about their genuineness or are simply uncomfortable doing so.
See if you can get someone else to listen in during your appointment as a support person, to jot down important points or next steps.
If you are going to get tests done, be sure to request a copy of the results to be sent to your family physician, or just make sure you have them for your personal records.
If you are getting a prescription, know that you are not required to fill the prescription via a pharmacist affiliated with the provider. You can get the prescription filled at your own local pharmacy.
If you have the time and the option, check the provider's website and see if you can choose the healthcare professional you want to meet with. Providers often have multiple physicians, psychologists, physiotherapists etc. listed on their websites. Go through their CVs, check their credentials and choose someone who specializes in managing your condition.
When you choose to access virtual care, you help prevent the spread of infections, save time and money, receive timely medical interventions and enjoy flexibility in receiving health care. Virtual healthcare can benefit a variety of patients, such as people with mobility issues, residents living in remote areas and people who like the convenience, and want to avoid taking time off from work.
Considering the benefits of virtual healthcare, I'm not surprised at how fast it is growing across Canada. If you find it challenging to access virtual healthcare services, at in4MED, we can teach you how to do it. We can also connect you to local support systems and be there for you as your trusted health advocates. As always, feel free to connect with me or leave a comment.
Healthcare Consultant, in4MED
Telus Health MyCare - free for residents of BC with a valid healthcard
Bounceback - free mental health support
Gotodoctor - free for residents of ON and MB with a valid healthcard
Lumeca - free for residents of SK with a valid healthcard
MD Connected - free for residents of ON with a valid healthcard
Mindbeacon - free mental health support for residents of ON with a valid healthcard
OTN - free for residents of ON with a valid healthcard
Rocket Doctor - free for residents of AB, BC and ON with a valid healthcard
Tia Health - free for residents of AB, BC, ON and QC with a valid healthcard
The author of this blog post is a Physician with over 10 years of experience working in the healthcare system as a clinician, researcher and educator. She is passionate about healthcare for older adults and strives to be a resourceful inspiration to caregivers.
*No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional.