HALIFAX: The Province of Nova Scotia is partnering with the Government of Canada to expand the province’s virtual care services.

Through a bilateral agreement, Nova Scotia will receive about $5.9 million from the federal government. This funding will allow the province to:
— improve access to e-mental health and addictions supports, including reaching vulnerable populations and enable language translation for websites
— invest in an online appointment booking for lab tests and other diagnostic services
— further develop the province’s virtual care strategy



“Virtual care has played a major role in Nova Scotia’s pandemic response and will continue to do so,” said Health and Wellness Minister Zach Churchill. “This funding will enhance access to health care, including e-mental health services, e-visits using secure video conferencing and messaging, and online booking of lab tests and diagnostic services.”

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.

The bilateral agreement includes an action plan on how the province will spend the funding.



Quotes:
“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 rapid deployment of such services for Canadians, to ensure they can access the care they need, whenever they need it. Today’s investment will support Nova Scotia in its work to meet the health needs of Nova Scotians during this pandemic, through expanded virtual health services.” 
     – Patty Hajdu, federal Minister of Health



Quick Facts:
— the funding is part of a $240.5 million investment by the federal government to increase access to virtual services and digital tools, with $150 million of that funding to be provided to provinces and territories through targeted bilateral agreements

Additional Resources:
Canada-Nova Scotia bilateral agreement: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/corporate/transparency/health-agreements/bilateral-agreement-pan-canadian-virtual-care-priorities-covid-19.html

Nova Scotia’s action plan: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/corporate/transparency/health-agreements/bilateral-agreement-pan-canadian-virtual-care-priorities-covid-19/nova-scotia-action-plan.html