Access to VirtualCareNS temporarily extended

Access to VirtualCareNS temporarily extended

The service is available to all Nova Scotians in the Need a Family Practice Registry

Access to VirtualCareNS has been temporarily extended.

The service is available to all Nova Scotians in the Need a Family Practice Registry.

In general, it can be used from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Mondays and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the rest of the weekdays, with no operation on weekends and public holidays.

However, Nova Scotia Health says opening hours will be extended to 7pm on Wednesday, January 4th and Wednesday, January 11th.

In addition, it will operate on a few upcoming weekends:

  • Saturday 31 December from 9am to 1pm
  • Saturday 7th January and Sunday 8th January from 9am to 5pm
  • Saturday 14th January and Sunday 15th January from 9am to 5pm

So far, almost 39,000 people have booked a virtual care visit.

Respiratory viruses have led to an increase in the number of people who need to see a doctor or nurse.

Public health officials have said flu season has hit our province faster and earlier than usual this season.

Last week said Dr. Robert Strang that mid-season is usually around January or February, but it’s probably already there this year.

With Christmas and the New Year fast approaching, the Chief Medical Officer of Health is recommending people exercise caution, including wearing masks in crowded public spaces and when ill.

Additionally, COVID is still a factor, and respiratory syncytial virus contributes to overcrowded emergency rooms.

“We’re dealing with a flood of people and most of them aren’t going to end up in the hospital, but they’re looking for some kind of medical care and they often end up in the emergency room right now,” Strang told reporters on Friday.

In addition to VirtualCareNS, mobile primary care clinics have been set up to treat mild or moderate health conditions across the province and increase access to primary care.

As of early Tuesday afternoon it is due to be set up in Antigonish for the rest of the year but has visited Dartmouth General, Cobequid Community Health Center and Mumford Road.

Almost 1,600 patients have been helped in the last three months.

Nova Scotians can also call 811 24 hours a day for general health advice and information from experienced nurses.

The province’s Mental Health and Addiction Crisis Hotline is available 24 hours a day at 1-888-429-8167.

With files from Canadian Press

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