New service offers free online doctor consultation in B.C.

A new free service connecting patients with healthcare professionals in British Columbia is now available.

Medimap launched a new service Tuesday that can connect patients across B.C. with an available walk-in clinic doctor over secure video call. The best part, is the service is free for B.C. patients with valid Medical Service Plan coverage.

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"The timely access piece is the key. People are scared right now and they're confused about how to navigate the system. This is a really unique offering at this difficult time," said chief executive officer, Blake Adam.

"We can legitimately say you can go online right now and in the next ten minutes you can be speaking with a B.C. certified physician over a secure video call."

Adam says they have been working on the service for the past year, but when COVID-19 began to spread, they ramped up their efforts to push up the platform's launch date. Adam says the service has been operating for the past week and seems to be working well.

"Medimap is already being used by 70 per cent of all the walk-in clinics across Canada to publish their wait times and millions of patients across the country use the platform," Adam says. "For the past year, we've been working to add the functionality that would allow doctors at walk-in medical clinics to interact with patients

Adam says patients can access the service from a phone, tablet, or desktop computer and no download is required. This new virtual care service will help patients get timely access to care while avoiding the emergency department waiting rooms and allow British Columbians to continue to practice social distancing.

"Obviously we didn't plan for this but it couldn't be more timely," says Adam.

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