Healthy Living in the North

Telehealth shrinks the distance between you and your health care provider

Gord looking at a laptop with his health care specialist on the screen.

With telehealth, a health care appointment is a few key strokes away – like this appointment between Gord in Prince George and his speech language pathologist in Vancouver.

Have you ever driven to Vancouver for a doctor’s appointment that only took 10 minutes?

Apart from the time spent on the road, you probably had to miss work or other activities, and arrange care for loved ones — all while dealing with the stress and cost of travelling.

But things are changing.

It’s now possible for Northerners to visit distant health care providers from their local doctor’s office or health care centre — or even from their own homes.

Telehealth, a service that lets patients connect with health care providers over live video, is available in many Northern BC communities.

Gord Simmons, a client from Prince George, likes the telehealth option. His speech-language pathologist, Lisa, is in Vancouver, but he can now do appointments with her from his own living room.

“It’s very much a positive experience to do it from home,” he says. “It’s really convenient.”

His wife, Karen, also likes the program. “It’s a more relaxed environment just being at home,” she says. “It’s helpful for me to listen in, too, because I know what to do in ‘homework’ with him.”

Anne Scott

About Anne Scott

Anne is a communications officer at Northern Health; she lives in Prince George with her husband Andrew Watkinson. Her current health goals are to do a pull-up and more than one consecutive “real” push-up. She also dreams of becoming a master’s level competitive sprinter and finding a publisher for her children’s book on colourblindness. Anne enjoys cycling, cross-country skiing, reading, writing, sugar-free chocolate, and napping -- sometimes all on the same day!

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Comments

  1. Telehealth was recommended to me years ago but my GP doesn’t use it. Shouldn’t it be mandatory so that those who need it can actually take advantage of it?

    • Thanks for connecting with us, Kristina. We recognize that access to care is a barrier for many people, and we’re continuously working to break down that barrier. At this time, it’s up to a physician’s or specialist’s office to opt into the telehealth service. If you’d like your physician to consider getting the service, please speak with your doctor (if you haven’t already).
      Thanks,
      Jessica, NH Communications

  2. Virginia Trombley says

    Telehealth is expanding all around Northern Health and other health authorities. If you have questions or concerns on whether or not your community has Telehealth services, please contact the NH Telehealth department. I would be happy to answer questions or direct you!

    Virginia Trombley
    Unified Communication Operator
    NH Telehealth Department.
    Telehealth@northernhealth.ca

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