Government of Canada Invests close to $5.9 Million to Expand Virtual Health Care Services in Nova Scotia

News release

March 30, 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 Nova Scotia to support it in its efforts 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 care services during the pandemic.

Through this bilateral agreement, Nova Scotia will receive nearly $5.9 million to expand their virtual health care services. 

In addition to signing a bilateral agreement, Nova Scotia has finalized the development of an action plan that outlines how the province is investing its share of federal funding to improve access to virtual health care. Nova Scotia’s investment in virtual care will be focused in three key areas:

  • Improving access to e-mental health and addictions supports for children, youth and adults;
  • Investing in an online appointment booking for lab tests and diagnostic services; and
  • Developing a strategy for virtual care focusing on videoconferencing and secure messaging.

Through these initiatives, Nova Scotia is working to improve access and quality of care for its residents.


“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 Nova Scotia in its work to meet the health needs of Nova Scotians during this pandemic, through expanded virtual health services.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Canada’s Minister of Health

“Virtual care has played a major role in Nova Scotia’s pandemic response and will continue to do so. This funding will enhance access to health care, including e-mental health services, e-visits using secure video conferencing and messaging, and enabling online booking of lab tests and diagnostic service.”

Zach Churchill
Nova Scotia’s Minister of Health and Wellness

Quick facts

  • 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 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 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 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.

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Cole Davidson
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

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