Northern Health COVID-19 information

Virtual Clinic

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)

Services

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:

  • Asthma
  • Coughs that are getting worse
  • Ear aches
  • Eye irritation/injuries
  • Feelings of anxiety, sadness, or depression
  • Headache
  • 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.

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.

What if I need health care services right away?

In an emergency, go to the emergency department or call 9-1-1.

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If I can’t get an appointment with my family doctor or nurse practitioner can I call the Virtual Clinic?

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.

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What if I don’t have a computer or internet?

You can use your phone to connect with the doctor or nurse practitioner.

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What equipment do I need?

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:

  • Computer
  • Laptop
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
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How is my privacy protected?

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.

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How long will I have to wait on the phone?

Wait times depend on the volume of calls, typically you will wait 30 minutes or less.

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Is it confidential and safe for me to talk about substance use when I call this line?

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.

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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.

What does a virtual visit look like?

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.
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How does virtual care compare to face-to-face care?

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.

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Can I bring someone with me?

Yes - just like a regular appointment with your health care provider, a family member or friend is welcome to be with you.

Also know:

  • 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.
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Can I still meet with my health care provider in person?

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.

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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.

Will my family doctor or nurse practitioner be informed of the results of my call?

Your results won’t be shared unless you consent to it and confirm who you want the information to be shared.

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If I need support for substance use, what does that visit look like?

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.

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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.

What if I need a test or an 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.

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What if I need a follow-up appointment?

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.

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