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Did you use virtual care instead of going to the doctor? We want to hear from you

Physical distancing and stay-at-home orders are forcing unprecedented change and innovation in public medicine that experts say will revolutionize how we access care. (Photo credit: Bongkarn Thanyakij from Pexels)
Physical distancing and stay-at-home orders are forcing unprecedented change and innovation in public medicine that experts say will revolutionize how we access care. (Photo credit: Bongkarn Thanyakij from Pexels)
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The pandemic shook up how we live, work and receive health care.

Once uncommon, use of virtual care services rose substantially when people were locked down during the early COVID-19 surges.

While many may have had reservations about its effectiveness, authorities saw virtual care as a necessity for non-urgent health-care cases amid the COVID-19 threat.

New research from Hamilton’s McMaster University found that virtual care, which includes video and phone appointments, is a safe way to hold medical appointments. Moreover, patients and doctors were able to use it "appropriately and effectively with minimal guidance," according to the study.

However, the rise of private virtual care services has become a growing concern, according to a 2022 Virtual Care Task Force report. The Virtual Care Task Force was created by the Canadian Medical Association, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Issues other researchers flagged include inequitable access and limited ability to accurately diagnose patients due to reasons such as a lack of access to patient data.

As well, a Canadian Medical Association Journal study last month found that Ontario's virtual urgent care program did little to ease the strain on emergency departments.

If you have thoughts on your experiences using virtual care in Canada, CTVNews.ca wants to hear from you.

What kind of virtual care did you use? What prompted you to start using virtual care? How does it compare to in-person medical appointments? How effective and safe is virtual care based on your experience, and do you have key examples? Do you have any concerns about the practice and any suggestions on how you would change or improve it?

Share your responses by emailing us at dotcom@bellmedia.ca with your name, general location and phone number in case we want to follow up. Your comments may be used in a CTVNews.ca story.

Correction

This story has been updated to indicate that the report on virtual care services was issued by the Canadian Medical Association, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

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