N.S. to launch nurse-led telehealth
HALIFAX – Nova
Scotians will have easy access to important health information from the
comfort of their homes with a new service that will allow people to talk
to a registered nurse over the phone.
The Department of Health signed a contract in March with McKesson Canada
to operate the Telecare service in Nova Scotia. The Telecare service
will cost about $6.5 million a year and will be available in July.
Telecare will have registered nurses available 24 hours a day, seven
days a week, to give health advice and health information over the
phone. Callers will also receive advice on whether or not they should
seek another level of care.
“A fundamental piece of transforming our healthcare system is giving
Nova Scotians better access to care,” said Health Minister Karen Casey
(pictured). “The Telecare system will make health information more
accessible to Nova Scotians, giving them greater control over their own
health and well-being.”
Benefits of a Telecare system include: helping individuals with
self-care; having a reliable source of health-related information;
reducing the need for travel for basic primary healthcare advice; being
more prepared in planning for outbreaks and events; and, most
importantly, improving access to primary healthcare services.
“Our team is honoured and excited to be given this opportunity” said
Domenic Pilla, president of McKesson Canada. “Patient access to
healthcare is one of the pillars of our business and we are committed to
applying our experience, expertise and technology to help build a
high-quality telecare service for Nova Scotians.
“McKesson Canada is also pleased to have Emergency Medical Care Inc. as
a partner in this initiative. Emergency Medical Care Inc., who provides
emergency services for the province of Nova Scotia, will be responsible
for some administrative, telephony and technical support.”
McKesson Canada will hire 15 full-time and 12 part-time telehealth
nurses, as well as telehealth associates, clinical team leaders,
clinical supervisors and workforce co-ordinators. A contact centre will
be located in Dartmouth and positions will be distributed across the
province under Telework, a work-at-home program.