Government of Canada Invests Close to $3.5 Million to Virtual Health Care Services in Prince Edward Island
February 8, 2021 | Ottawa, Ontario | Health Canada
Canada’s universal, publicly funded health care system is a source of pride for Canadians. The Government of Canada is working closely with provincial and territorial governments to strengthen health care and adapt the system to the challenges of delivering health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced the signature of a bilateral agreement with Prince Edward Island (PEI) to expand virtual health care services for its residents. Under the agreement, the province will invest federal funding based on agreed-upon pan-Canadian priorities for accelerating virtual health services during the pandemic.
Through this bilateral agreement, PEI will receive nearly $3.5 million to expand their virtual health care services. Over the coming weeks, the province will be developing an action plan that outlines how they will invest their share of federal funding to improve access to virtual health care services.
“Now more than ever, Canadians need access to virtual health care services to support their health. We are working with provinces and territories to support the rapid deployment of such services for Canadians, to ensure they can access the care they need, whenever they need it. Today’s investment will support PEI in their expansion of virtual health care services, ensuring Islanders have health services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Canada’s Minister of Health
“Throughout the pandemic, we have seen a lot of success in telehealth technology and virtual care supporting Island patients and received a lot of positive feedback from those who have used the service. Through the bilateral agreement we will be able to expand on these services, caring for more Islanders through efficient and secure virtual appointments. Virtual care offers the convenience of care from home, and allows Islanders to access care from across the province, country and world.”
Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Health and Wellness
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 wellbeing.
$150 million of that funding will be provided to provinces and territories through targeted bilateral agreements aimed at expanding virtual health care services in five priority areas for immediate action to support further embedding virtual health care services within Canadian health care systems, namely:
- secure messaging and file transfer,
- secure videoconferencing,
- 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.
This funding is also in addition to the $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.
Bilateral agreements on virtual health care are a time-limited initiative aimed at ensuring that Canadians can continue to access the health care services they need during this time of uncertainty.
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 health care services as a complement to in person care.
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
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