Telehealth Up and Running in All Rural Yukon Communities



    WHITEHORSE, Jan. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Health and Social Services Minister
Brad Cathers today announced that all Yukon communities have improved health
care services with the expansion of the Yukon Telehealth Network. Telehealth
links patients from remote communities with clinicians at a distance through
secure networks.
    "Today, every Yukon community has the ability to link through the Yukon
Telehealth Network to provide increased health services and supports within
that community," Cathers said. "This is a true feat of technology. The
contribution from Canada Health Infoway and the hard work of dedicated people
over the past number of years ensured that today arrived."
    The minister used the Diabetes Education Centre as a good example of how
telehealth works.
    "Individuals diagnosed with diabetes are not always able to travel to
Whitehorse on a regular basis for training or support. The Diabetes Education
Centre staff can connect with their clients in the communities through the
telehealth network in the rural health centres to provide one-on-one sessions.
This means that people don't have to leave their communities to get the
services they need," Cathers added.
    "Telehealth increases access to care for those from remote and isolated
communities," Canada Health Infoway President and CEO Richard Alvarez said.
"Today we are celebrating a real milestone for residents of all Yukon
communities who, thanks to technology, now have increased access to much
needed health care."

    The Yukon Telehealth Network began in 2002. Old Crow, Dawson City, Mayo,
Haines Junction, Watson Lake and Whitehorse were the initial communities;
followed by Beaver Creek, Destruction Bay, Carmacks and Pelly Crossing.
Communications technology has continued to improve where today telehealth can
be implemented in all Yukon communities. This expansion has been accomplished
by community nursing and information technology (IT) staff with funding from
Canada Health Infoway.

    Canada Health Infoway is a federally-funded, not-for-profit independent
organization that invests with public sector partners across Canada to
implement and reuse compatible health information systems which support a
safer, more efficient healthcare system. Fully respecting patient
confidentiality, these private and secure systems provide healthcare
professionals with rapid access to complete and accurate patient information,
enabling better decisions about diagnosis and treatment. The result is a
sustainable, health care system offering improved quality, accessibility and
productivity.




For further information:

For further information: Roxanne Vallevand, Cabinet Communications,
(867) 633-7949, Roxanne.vallevand@gov.yk.ca; Pat Living, Director
Communications, Health and Social Services, (867) 667-3673,
Patricia.living@gov.yk.ca; Dan Strasbourg, Director, Corporate Communications,
Canada Health Infoway, (416) 595-3424, dstrasbourg@infoway-inforoute.ca


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