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Over half of all Canadians do not know how to find virtual care: survey

COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for health care from home

June 18, 2020  by CM Staff

TORONTO — The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the importance of virtual care. Once an emerging trend, it’s now a necessity for health care in Canada. Yet, many are facing challenges.

In a recent Lumino Health survey, over half of all Canadians (55%) said they do not know how to find virtual care services.

49% of Canadians surveyed report the pandemic having negative effects on their physical health and nearly 60% report mental health impacts.

Despite identifying a physical or mental health concern, only a small percentage of Canadians are seeking treatment. Of respondents who said COVID-19 is negatively impacting their mental health, only 21% have sought professional care.

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This rate is consistent with Canadians who say the pandemic is having a negative impact on their physical health — with only 21% seeking professional help.

“The need for Canadians to connect virtually with health care professionals has never been more important,” said Chris Denys, senior vice-president, Possibilities, Lumino Health, in a prepared statement. “As physical distancing continues, it’s our goal to bring Canadians the tools and resources they need to manage their health from home. The Lumino Health network has access to more than 12,000 health care providers who offer virtual services.”

Although many Canadians are finding it difficult knowing where to access virtual care, awareness is high (72%). When asked what they believe are the main benefits of virtual care, Canadians listed:

  • convenience (54%);
  • no waiting rooms (50%); and
  • speed to connect with a health care professional (40%).