A screen shot of the downloadable instructions from the virtual doctor website.

Virtual care now available for Yukon patients

Yukon government and Yukon Medical Association roll out online portal for doctors’ appointments

Patients can now stay at home when speaking with their doctors.

In a bid to maintain social distancing while not interrupting health care delivery, the Yukon government and the Yukon Medical Association rolled out virtual care last week.

There are two parts to it. Appointments can occur over the phone or by video chat.

The services are available in Whitehorse, Watson Lake and Dawson City. Work is being done to introduce these options to communities.

“Right now, we feel this is the safest way to do it,” said Dr. Katherine Smart, president of the medical association.

If it’s absolutely necessary, patients can go to their doctors’ offices still, but they have to be screened in advance by phone and test negative or be without symptoms, said Smart, noting that those with COVID-19 symptoms such as a fever, coughing or difficulty breathing are being advised to visit the respiratory centre located in downtown Whitehorse, which was announced last week. The centre was open on March 25, with some personnel wearing protective gear. Seniors are able to get assessed from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.; hours for those with a referral are between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. It doesn’t accept drop-ins.

What’s key is that people are totally honest if there is to be an in-person visit, Smart said.

“Just that people are really honest with us about their travel history and their symptom, because this all falls apart if they don’t tell the truth and then end up being seen in an inappropriate setting. …” she said.

She noted that unlike the respiratory centre or hospital, physicians have limited access to protective equipment at clinics.

“As physicians we have hundreds of people through our offices every day,” Smart said. “It’s sort of the opposite of what we’re wanting to do, in terms of limiting the spread of COVID-19. Even though there’s only two cases in the Yukon, it’s a rapidly evolving situation, so our goal is to be ahead of that so that we’re being proactive and not reactive.”

Yukoners interested in accessing this type of care can visit yukon.ca/covid-19.

Contact Julien Gignac at julien.gignac@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Children’s performer Claire Ness poses for a photo for the upcoming annual Pivot Festival. “Claire Ness Morning” will be a kid-friendly performance streamed on the morning of Jan. 30. (Photo courtesy Erik Pinkerton Photography)
Pivot Festival provides ‘delight and light’ to a pandemic January

The festival runs Jan. 20 to 30 with virtual and physically distant events

The Boulevard of Hope was launched by the Yukon T1D Support Network and will be lit up throughout January. It is aimed at raising awareness about Yukoners living with Type 1 diabetes. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Boulevard of Hope sheds light on Type 1 diabetes

Organizers hope to make it an annual event

City of Whitehorse city council meeting in Whitehorse on Oct. 5, 2020. An updated council procedures bylaw was proposed at Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 18 meeting that would see a few changes to council meetings and how council handles certain matters like civil emergencies. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse procedures bylaw comes forward

New measures proposed for how council could deal with emergencies

A Yukon survey querying transportation between communities has already seen hundreds of participants and is the latest review highlighting the territory’s gap in accessibility. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Multiple reports, survey decry lack of transportation between Yukon communities

A Community Travel survey is the latest in a slew of initiatives pointing to poor accessibility

Mobile vaccine team Team Balto practises vaccine clinic set-up and teardown at Vanier Catholic Secondary School. Mobile vaccine teams are heading out this week to the communities in order to begin Moderna vaccinations. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Mobile vaccine teams begin community vaccinations

“It’s an all-of-government approach”

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Mayor Dan Curtis listens to a councillor on the phone during a city council meeting in Whitehorse on April 14, 2020. Curtis announced Jan. 14 that he intends to seek nomination to be the Yukon Liberal candidate for Whitehorse Centre in the 2021 territorial election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse mayor seeking nomination for territorial election

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis is preparing for a run in the upcoming… Continue reading

Gerard Redinger was charged under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> with failing to self-isolate and failing to transit through the Yukon in under 24 hours. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Man ticketed $1,150 at Wolf Creek campground for failing to self-isolate

Gerard Redinger signed a 24-hour transit declaration, ticketed 13 days later

Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tax changes sought for Whitehorse energy projects

Delegates call for separate property tax category for renewable energy projects

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

Most Read