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Telehealth

New telehealth sites opened across Saskatchewan

REGINA – Telehealth Saskatchewan has expanded into eight new locations, making its services available in every provincial, regional and district hospital in Saskatchewan, as well as northern hospitals in La Ronge, La Loche, Ile a la Crosse, Beauval and Pinehouse.

Telehealth uses videoconferencing technology to improve patients’ access to specialized medical services from within their own communities.

The new sites are located in Lloydminster, Humboldt, Melfort, Tisdale, Estevan, Melville, Saskatoon (City Hospital) and Regina (Pasqua Hospital).

Each site contains videoconferencing equipment that allows clinical appointments to be completed over great distances. The initiative was financed using $400,000 of the $66 million in funding committed at the 2004 First Ministers’ Meeting.

At the official opening of the new site in Lloydminster, Health Minister Len Taylor said Telehealth supports the government’s goal of making high quality services accessible to all residents, no matter where in the province they live.

“People who need specialized health services should not face cost or travel challenges that prevent them from receiving those services,” Taylor said. “Telehealth not only helps patients easily connect with specialists, but supports health providers with continuing medical education, and helps rural professionals and medical residents keep in touch with their urban colleagues.”

“This new Teleheath site for Prairie North Health Region expands our options in making specialized services available to our residents on both sides of the Saskatchewan-Alberta border,” Prairie North Health Region CEO David Fan said.” Lloydminster is linked to the Alberta system. Together, both systems better serve patients and healthcare professionals by offering services closer to home in convenient, comfortable surroundings.”

“In my experience, Telehealth removes the geographic and economic barriers for patients who live far from an urban centre and need a medical specialist,” Telehealth Advisory Committee chair, medical advisor to the program and general practitioner from Meadow Lake, Dr. Peter Kapusta, added. “It is truly a benefit for the most vulnerable people in our communities.”

The Telehealth network now includes 26 sites across the province, and serves about 5,500 Saskatchewan residents and healthcare providers every year.

Detailed information about Telehealth is available at www.health.gov.sk.ca/ps_telehealth.html.

 

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