Canada invests in digital health services

Canada invests in digital health services

Sarah Peddie

Canada is set to invest $3.1 million to help expand virtual health services in the Northwest Territories.

The Canadian Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, announced the agreement to expand virtual health care services to residents living in the Northwest Territories. 

The agreement means that federal funding will accelerate the services during the pandemic.

This is part of the Canadian Government’s mission to work closely with provincial and territorial governments to adapt and strengthen the health care system during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Health said: “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 deployment of such services for Canadians, to ensure they can access the care they need, whenever they need it. 

“Today’s investment will support the Northwest Territories as they meet the health needs of its residents through expanded virtual health services.”

Julie Green who is the Northwest Territories’ Minister of Health and Social Services added: “The Government of the Northwest Territories’ main priority remains the health and safety of NWT residents and continues to do what we can to find ways to support those needs for residents across all 33 communities. 

Ontario and Covid-19

“COVID-19 has created a need for virtual services in a way that no one could have anticipated. Continued funding such as this will support the NWT’s health and social services system improvements in key areas, including virtual care and access.”

Back in May last year, the Canadian Prime Minister announced a $240 million investment to increase access to virtual and digital tools to support people’s health and wellbeing.

Around $150 million of the funding will go to provinces and territories through targeted agreement.

They want to expand virtual health services in five priority areas for immediate action - 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.

Agreements have come to a total of almost $102 million and have been announced in eight provinces and territories which include: Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon.

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