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Would you use Skype for a doctor's appointment?

Categories: Canada, Community, Health

mi-skype-test-480-cp7855841.jpgDoctors in the U.K. are trying out a new way to meet with patients in order to cut down on the number of missed hospital outpatient appointments. A test study at the Newham University Hospital saw doctors talking with diabetic patients by Skype - and that resulted in an 11 per cent drop in missed appointments.

According to Department of Health, over 5.5 million appointments were missed in the U.K. last year. The Telegraph reported that missed appointments could cost the U.K.'s National Health Service the equivalent of £800 million a year, or about $1.25 billion.  
   
The Telegraph also reported that patients there aren't charged for missed appointments.

The U.K. Department of Health also recommended that hospitals text patients to remind them of appointment times.

Could it work in Canada?

In some provinces, like Manitoba and Saskatchewan, doctors already meet with patients in remote areas by secure video link, although the programs still require patients to go to a local healthcare site to access the video link.

And many provinces including, Ontario and B.C. already have Telehealth programs. The Ontario Telehealth program gives access to a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

So what do you think?





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