Government of Canada invests over $4.5 million to expand virtual health care services in Newfoundland and Labrador
August 6, 2021 | Ottawa, Ontario | Health Canada
Canada's universal, publicly funded health care systems are a source of pride in our country. The federal government is working closely with provincial and territorial partners to strengthen and adapt these systems to the challenges of delivering health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced a bilateral agreement with Newfoundland and Labrador to expand virtual health care services in the province. Under the agreement, over $4.5 million will be invested based on agreed-upon pan-Canadian priorities for accelerating virtual health care services, which have been instrumental for delivering care during the pandemic and are helping to improve access to much needed services.
"As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, now more than ever Canadians need access to virtual health care services. This bilateral agreement is another great example of governments working together to support the health and wellbeing of the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. These investments will support the deployment of virtual care, adapting to both the challenges of the pandemic and preparing our health systems for the future."
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Canada's Minister of Health
"Virtual health care was an important tool to keep people in our Province healthy and safe during the pandemic. We're investing to keep access to virtual health care - and increase it. So we can continue to be there for everyone."
The Honourable Seamus O'Regan Jr.,
Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John's South-Mount Pearl
"Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the benefits of technology and virtual care for patients and health care providers alike. We have heard about the positive experiences from people and providers who have used these services. Virtual care offers the convenience of care from home, allowing people the ability to access health services from wherever they are across the province."
The Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
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 well-being.
$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 video conferencing,
- 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 up to $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.
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.
To date, funding agreements totalling over $109 million have been announced for 10 provinces and territories, including: Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Nunavut, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
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