The Rankin government is continuing to make virtual care options, such as telephone and videoconferencing, available for health professionals to connect with patients.
Physicians and regulated health professionals, including nurses, pharmacists, dentists, optometrists and others can continue to offer publicly funded services virtually until March 31, 2022. Virtual care will continue to complement in-person care.
One of the positive outcomes of the pandemic has been the success and popularity of these visits. For example, more than 1.5 million health-care services were provided virtually during the pandemic in 2020.
“Virtual care has been an important way for doctors and other health professionals to safely and effectively meet Nova Scotians’ health-care needs during the pandemic,” said Health and Wellness Minister Zach Churchill. “Continuing virtual care will ensure patients can continue to access a range of health services, while maintaining this option for practitioners.”
An evaluation of virtual health care will be completed before the extension ends to finalize a long-term approach.
Primary health care, mental health and addictions, and perioperative services have been identified as priority areas to expand virtual care access.
Broader virtual care is one of several measures introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic to strengthen the health system and support Nova Scotians and health care providers. Nova Scotia has been a leader in virtual care during the pandemic.
- virtual visits are provided via telephone, telehealth network or secure videoconferencing tools
- regulated health professionals who can provide publicly-funded virtual services include audiologists, counselling therapists, dental hygienists, dentists, dietitians, licensed practical nurses, midwives, nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, optometrists, paramedics, pharmacists, physicians, physiotherapists, psychologists, recreation therapists, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, speech-language pathologists and social workers
Government of Nova Scotia Coronavirus website: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/