Islanders on the family physician wait list have started receiving invitations to a new program that will allow them to access care from home during COVID-19.
Created in partnership with telemedicine provider Maple, the program lets Islanders access P.E.I. physicians through their smartphone, tablet, or computer during specified clinic hours.
“By investing in virtual care, we are able to provide stable access to health care for Islanders who do not have a primary care provider,” said Health Minister James Aylward in a release. “The program will help prevent unnecessary emergency department visits and save hospital resources for Islanders who need those services the most”.
Invitations to the program during the initial rollout are being prioritized to ensure Islanders who have been on the Provincial Patient Registry longest are able to access the program first.
Patients who receive an invitation may sign up for the program with their P.E.I. Health Card number, complete a health profile and add past medical history with a guarantee of confidentiality.
The program is run by Maple, a technology platform that has been working in the emergency department at Western Hospital since February.
“When working full time in the ER, I found I still had several hours each week to see additional patients outside of my shifts, something I have also heard from P.E.I. physicians,” said Dr. Brett Belchetz, CEO and co-founder of Maple. “By pooling those extra hours and delivering care virtually, we’re able to distribute that capacity to Islanders across the province.”
To learn more about the program, visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/service/virtual-health-care-islanders-without-primary-care-provider.