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Beginning on Wednesday, March 2, Grey Bruce Health Unit (GBHS) is launching a pilot project that will offer urgent care virtual visits to qualifying patients, giving them access to a GBHS physician from anywhere they have internet connection.

In a February 25 release from GBHS, patients must have their own device, such as a tablet, laptop or smartphone, with audio and video capabilities. This pilot is a partnership with Maple, a leading Canadian provider of virtual healthcare solutions.

“This new service will work well for patients who need same-day medical attention, but are unable to see their family doctor, and not sick enough to require critical care,” said Dr Sunil Mehta, Chief of Emergency Medicine at the Owen Sound hospital.

Approximately 10 same-day virtual care appointments will be available three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. Patients must book appointments online on the day that they wish to see a doctor. Registration for appointments opens at 11 a.m. on each day of the virtual clinics, and appointments must be booked by 3:30 p.m. Virtual visits will be free to Grey Bruce residents with a valid OHIP card.

“We’re proud to come together with GBHS to bring the residents of the Grey and Bruce counties timely access to medical care, all without having to travel to the hospital in person,” said Shelly-Ann Rampersad, VP of Clinical Operations at Maple. “Embracing innovation, patients will be able to access a GBHS doctor through the Maple platform, allowing those with non-life threatening medical issues to receive effective and convenient care.”

This new service will help reduce strain on GBHS emergency departments. Individuals who need emergency medical attention should call 911, or come to their closest ER.

The appointment system and more information about this service, including eligibility, will be available at at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 2.