The Ontario Association of Cardiologists (OAC) welcomes the delay in the implementation of the new virtual care rules in the province to December 1, 2022; however, without substantive change, we remain concerned that patient access to virtual care will be severely restricted under the new rules.
The new rules severely restrict patient access to telephone-based virtual services, which will hurt those patients who cannot or choose not to use video conferencing technology (i.e. many seniors); cannot afford video conferencing technology; or live in areas of the province without access to high-speed Internet required to support video conferencing technology.
OAC Position on Virtual Care
Virtual care is intended as a tool for use by a physician who will at other times see the patient in person according to their needs. It is not intended for use by physicians who would not otherwise see the patient in person, and who cannot provide the patient with appropriate in-patient services, testing and follow up as needed in a location that is geographically accessible to the patient. Virtual care must be conducted in a way that does not compromise the standard of care. More background can be found here: OAC Virtual Care Position.
Ontario’s cardiologists call on the Ministry of Health to postpone indefinitely the implementation of the new virtual care rules to allow for further discussions on a new virtual care framework aimed at preserving patient access to telephone-based consultations and follow-up virtual visits if medically appropriate and it is their preference.
For more information, contact:
Tim Holman, Executive Director
Ontario Association of Cardiologists
34 Eglinton Ave. West, Suite 410
Toronto, Ontario M4R 2H6
E-mail: [email protected]