Fraser Health expands virtual health care for kids in Abbotsford, Chilliwack
Amanda Sidhu lives in Mission, and said she's grateful grateful her daughter Kaitlyn can see her doctors at BC Children's Hospital closer to home via videoconference.
VANCOUVER - Fraser Health is adding two more hospitals to its virtual health service that allows families to see specialists at BC Children's Hospital via videoconference.
Now kids can come to Abbotsford Regional Hospital or Chilliwack General Hospital to see their doctor through a video chat instead of in person. A nurse practitioner stays in the room to take vitals and gather any other information the doctor can't gain remotely.
"This is going to be so amazing for families. You don't have to take the whole day to get out to BC Children's," said Amanda Sidhu.
Her daughter Kaitlyn has several health conditions that need to be managed by specialists in Vancouver. It's a two and a half hour drive each way from their home in Mission, B.C., and a nurse needs to accompany Kaitlyn the whole way.
It's a big hassle for appointments that are sometimes only 15 minutes long, Sidhu said.
The new service means patients can access care closer to home, according to James Lee, a pediatric neurologist at BC Children's.
"This makes sure that geography and distance are not a barrier to accessing to the absolute best care that we can provide for our patients," he said.
It's a big deal for the two hospitals run by Fraser health, because 42 per cent of all children in the province live in the region.
The health authority hopes the initiative can reduce stress by saving families time and money.
The program is part of a four-year effort between BC Children's, Child Health BC and the provincial health authorities. With the addition of Chilliwack and Abbotsford, 19 sites are now connected with BC Children's via videoconference.