SPRINGDALE, NL — The Main Street Medical Clinic in Springdale launched its virtual clinic this week.
Patients can consult a healthcare professional by video or phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Its director, Dr. Todd Young, is touting Medicuro.ca as the first of its type in this province.
“The launch of this service is a significant milestone in improving access to healthcare in Newfoundland and Labrador,” Young stated in a press release.
The service is designed to meet the needs of a diverse and distributed population.
“Healthcare is adapting to consumer needs and technology is a pivotal tool in this process. For many, spending time in a waiting room is not desirable. Being able to see a doctor from anywhere – whether from the office, in the early morning with a sick child, or at the cabin for the weekend – encourages people to place their healthcare first.”
Medicuro provides services for a variety of common conditions — cuts and abrasions, medication refills, sprains and strains, respiratory infections, dehydration, insomnia, sinus infections, skin conditions, fever and flu, colds, sore throat, migraines, earache and body aches, and bites or stings.
While it is the first of its type in the province, according to Young, the doctor expects it will become the way of the future.
“Medicuro is leading the way,” he said.
Soon after reaching out either through chat or by completing an information sheet, patients will be connected to a registered nurse, who will facilitate the booking process.
The patient can then be seen using a secure, office-based telemedicine software, and can pay for the service afterwards online.
Young said there are similar initiatives in western Canada, but they are solely physician based. In the coming weeks, he is expecting to add nurse practitioners, a social worker, physiotherapist and other medical professionals alongside doctors.
“Primary care models that work best involve many disciplines,” he said. “In this platform, team members can be living anywhere in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Corporate plans are available, according to Young, allowing employees easy access to a doctor while minimizing lost time – a potential cost saving for many companies.
Patients can visit www.medicuro.ca to request an appointment via live chat or secure form. Virtual visits are conducted by video or phone using a smartphone, tablet or computer.
If necessary, prescriptions are routed to the patient’s preferred pharmacy.