The Northern Health Virtual Clinic provides primary and community care services by phone or through a video call. The COVID-19 Online Clinic is now the Northern Health Virtual Clinic, and the phone number remains the same.
Patients can call the Virtual Clinic to access a family doctor or nurse practitioner:
- Phone: 1-844-645-7811
- 10 am to 10 pm daily (including weekends and statutory holidays)
At this time, the Northern Health Virtual Clinic is not booking appointments for, or giving, COVID-19 vaccines. More information on the COVID-19 vaccine is available on the BCCDC website.
The Virtual Clinic is for:
- People who don’t have a family doctor or nurse practitioner.
- People who need care after their health centre is closed. (You’re encouraged to call your family doctor or nurse practitioner first).
Call the Virtual Clinic if you or a family member are experiencing:
- Coughs that are getting worse
- Ear aches
- Eye irritation/injuries
- Feelings of anxiety, sadness, or depression
- Mild back pain
- Mild breathing difficulties
- Mild shortness of breath
- Minor burns
- Skin rashes and infections
- Sore throat or cough
- Sprains caused by minor accidents and falls
- Urinary tract infections
- Vomiting, diarrhea or dehydration
- A need for support around substance use treatment such as Opioid Agonist Therapy, or safer pharmaceutical alternatives to street drugs.
Don't call the Virtual Clinic phone line in an emergency. Instead, go to the emergency department or call 9-1-1 (or local emergency services in your community).
Connecting to the Virtual Clinic
Call the Virtual Clinic to receive primary and community care services over video or phone call. These include services you would normally receive from your family doctor and nurse practitioner.
In an emergency, go to the emergency department or call 9-1-1 (or local emergency services in your community).
Yes. The Virtual Clinic provides services to all patients. We encourage you to call your family doctor or nurse practitioner first to see when they have an appointment available.
You can use your phone to connect with the doctor or nurse practitioner.
A phone - If you don’t have a device that can play a video, the clinic can do visits by phone call.
For video calls, you need the internet and a device with sound, a camera and a microphone. Examples include:
Your personal information is protected under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
The Virtual Clinic uses encryption technology to the same level of protection as that provided by your bank. Only those in your circle of care will see your personal health information. This is made up of doctors and other care providers, departments, or facilities in Northern Health who are directly involved in your care.
Wait times depend on the volume of calls, typically you will wait 30 minutes or less.
Yes, the reason the team are asking about substance use is to help connect you to a service that can help meet your needs and/or goals. The Virtual Clinic can help connect you to Opioid Agonist Therapy services or safer pharmaceutical alternatives to street drugs.
How virtual visits differ
Virtual visits allow you to talk to a health care provider from the comfort of your own home over video or a phone call. You can still bring someone with you to your appointment, and you always have the option of meeting with your family doctor or nurse practitioner in person.
Your virtual visit may be by phone or video call. It’s your choice.
- If you have video capability, you and your health care provider can see, hear, and talk to each other. If not, the visit will be done by phone.
- If you have video capability, your health provider may share information with you by sharing their screen.
- Try to find a private and quiet space for your visit, though we recognize this isn’t always possible.
Your virtual visit will be very similar to a face-to-face visit. It may take some time to get used to virtual care, as this model of care is new to Northern Health and patients.
So far, patients have been satisfied with their virtual care. According to Northern Health survey results released in September 2020, 85% of patients who had virtual care visits said they would recommend it to family and friends.
Yes - just like a regular appointment with your health care provider, a family member or friend is welcome to be with you.
- It’s OK for you to ask someone to leave the room during the visit (i.e., if someone else is in the room with you).
- It’s OK for your health care provider to ask someone to leave the room (i.e., if someone else is in the room with you, or if someone’s in the room with your health care provider).
- If someone’s in the room with your health care provider, it’s OK for you to ask your health care provider to ask the person to leave.
Absolutely! This is your choice. You can schedule a face-to-face appointment with your health care provider at any time. You can also call the Virtual Clinic after hours, but continue to see your regular health care provider when they are available.
Virtual visit details
In your virtual visit, you’ll talk to a family doctor or nurse practitioner about your concerns. The clinic also provides support for mental health and substance use.
Your results won’t be shared unless you consent to it and confirm who you want the information to be shared.
The Virtual Clinic staff will ask you some general questions about substance use, and then connect you to the substance use clinic coordinator who will work with you to book an appointment with a family doctor or nurse practitioner.
After your virtual visit
After your visit, you may be required to book a follow-up appointment, or you will receive a referral for a test or x-ray.
The Virtual Clinic staff will organize any tests you need. Results will be sent to your family doctor or nurse practitioner if you wish, and if you let the clinic know who they are.
If the doctor or nurse practitioner at the Virtual Clinic recommends you see your own family doctor or nurse practitioner, or you’re connected with a health care team, you’re encouraged to reach out to them for an appointment. If you don’t have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, or you need to connect with other supports, the Virtual Clinic team will follow up with you.