In their recent article, CBC news reporter Amanda Pfeffer details the fact that virtual care is likely to remain the norm for family doctors in Ontario for now:
While Ontario’s Stage 3 reopening means people can go to bars and eat in restaurants, family physicians are unlikely to transition from virtual to in-person visits any time soon, despite concerns over potential long-term consequences.
“Until it is feasible for doctors to protect their communities, they are not going to change that practice,” said Dr. Samantha Hill, president of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA).
The OMA found in June, two-thirds of doctors were delivering most patient care via telephone or virtually.
Hill said the exponential rise in costs for both personal protective equipment (PPE) and investments needed to make doctors’ offices COVID-safe, is largely behind a slow transition back to in-person visits.
“The last thing any physician wants is to be the source of a community spread event,” said Hill.
“So if we aren’t able to protect our staff and ourselves and our patients from each other, then we don’t reopen — it’s just as simple as that.”