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.”