Through a partnership with Johnston Group Inc., Teledoc Health Inc. is offering its telemedicine services to 350 First Nations and Inuit employers to provide to their employees.

Since nearly 40 per cent of Canada’s First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples live in rural areas, Johnston Group’s specialty employee benefits program, CINUP, aims to provide health services to employees living hours away from the nearest primary care physician or hospital, noted a press release.

Read: APTN introducing counselling with Indigenous elders into EAP

“The ability to access care when and where needed is critical,” said Dr. Hanif Jamal, medical director of Teladoc Health Canada, in the release. “Through Johnston Group, CINUP will allow individuals who previously delayed or avoided treatment to now have accessible, quality care on their terms. Employers can rest assured that their staff have the right resources to help eradicate the barriers previously preventing plan members from seeking timely care.”

Melanie Desjarlais, chief administrative officer at Sagkeeng First Nation, noted the difficulties faced by her community in only having access to a doctor in the area a few times a week. “In the past, employees would have to be away from work a long time if they needed access to a doctor to get a diagnosis. The availability of telemedicine services should surely help to eliminate many of those prolonged absences and bring more immediate peace of mind.”

Read: Canadians cite 91% satisfaction rate with virtual health care

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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