On May 3rd, 2020, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau announced that $240.5 million will be made available for mental health services and tools.1 Now you might be wondering, how could this be useful to me? You could be completely new to telehealth, having never heard of the term, or you may be hearing it for the first time. But for many of you, telehealth isn’t so new. Tele-rehab has already been a solution used to provide health services to areas in Northern B.C. and is rapidly increasing in usage through all the provinces across Canada. Trudeau’s latest expansion of government funds towards creating new platforms for mental health and primary care really just show how Canada is catching up and getting in tune with the future.
He points out a rather obvious fact but an important message.
“If we can use apps to order dinner and video chats to stay in touch with family, we can use new technology to keep each other healthy," Trudeau said.1
Based on some estimates provided by general medical practitioners- “Seventy percent of medical conditions can be diagnosed without touching -most diagnoses are based on personal history, symptoms, and what a patient feels.” And from a physiotherapists’ perspective, I would agree wholeheartedly. I believe the number would be even higher, in the 85-95% range, potentially.
We really believe that telehealth is more important now than ever with doctors and physiotherapists closing their clinics all over Canada. COVID-19 really has just accelerated this need and brought it to light. As a physiotherapist, I don’t foresee any plans for telehealth to disappear after the pandemic ends. Rather, integration of the face to face and online platforms to bring what is most efficient and effective for each individual patient. There is clearly the need for increased funding and acceptance of this service. Do you think it’s time for telehealth services such as TelePhysio to be a service expanded across all of B.C. and beyond?
- Charlie Smith., Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces $240.5 million in funding for virtual mental-health supports and services. https://www.straight.com/living/prime-minister-justin-trudeau-announces-2405-million-in-funding-for-virtual-mental-health. The Georgia Straight. May 3, 2020.
- Charlie Smith., Telehealth poised to take off. https://www.straight.com/covid-19-pandemic/telehealth-poised-to-take-off. The Georgia Straight. April 28, 2020.