Has virtual care lost its shine?
Primary care is rapidly degrading and for many finding a family doctor is like winning the lottery. Here's a link to an interesting Twitter thread on this topic.
Virtual care is a valuable component to primary care and is helping to fill the gap, but it’s only used for a handful of things. It’s not meant as a replacement for in person care.
Unfortunately Virtual care has taken a beating recently when our most populated province reduced the fee paid for virtual care visits from $37 to $15. This made the care model not financially feasible for some operators and they were forced to close. While some others now charge a subscription fee making the service inaccessible to many Canadians who can’t afford to pay the fees.
I wonder if I’m the long term this will be a net positive as the lower fees will encourage some doctors to return to an in person practice, vs doctors who were taking on extra hours via virtual visits no longer seeing this as a valuable use of time.
It feels like some of the virtual care shine is wearing off. I hope this isn’t the case as it’s an extremely valuable service, and one that I personally use and benefit from.
Or perhaps we are just at the beginning. There are a lot of smart minds in that space. I think there’s more to discover around how virtual care can be used and incorporated into primacy care, especially within the preventive care space.
I hope the primary healthcare evolution will be an innovative and exciting one to watch.
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