Bringing Healthcare Closer to First Nations Communities in B.C.

As of March 6, 2015, after months of planning, the Telehealth​ Expansion Project (FNTEP) is set to deploy new clinical telehealth equipment, beginning with Coastal and Interior communities in British Columbia.

The telehealth equipment will offer rural communities (such as Anahim Lake, Klemtu, Three Corners, Bella Coola, Hartley Bay and many others) the opportunity to access healthcare services remotely. These communities do not have on-site healthcare specialists and rely on telecommunications services to connect with people located in urban centres.

Initially, communities will have access to services dealing with renal problems, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis to name a few. However, as patients and health providers become more familiar with the telehealth system, the range of services will gradually expand.

According to the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), telehealth services will vary among the Coastal and Interior communities. Nevertheless, sites that have installed telehealth equipment will provide community members with remote access to physicians for regular follow-ups, medication reviews and other healthcare services.