Need to see a Doctor? Introducing the First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day
Members of BC First Nations without access or limited access to their own doctors or nurse practitioners can now make virtual appointments, thanks to the new First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day program.
The intent of the program is to enable more First Nations people to access primary health care closer to home. The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is launching the new program across the province in partnership with the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc).
“It is our ongoing priority to remove barriers and promote the delivery of culturally-safe, appropriate primary health care,” said the FNHA’s interim Chief Executive Officer, Richard Jock. “The First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day program is part of our overall COVID-19 response. It is intended to assist individuals who do not have access to primary health care services or have had their existing services disrupted. We have worked with our partners to accelerate this launch to meet the rising need for virtual primary health care during this pandemic.”
Virtual Doctor of the Day is intended for individuals who do not have a regular doctor or nurse practitioner or who may be unable to access their regular practitioner due to disruptions in service during the COVID-19 crisis.
How does it work?
First Nations clients in BC call a central toll-free number (1.855.344.3800) to be connected to a doctor or nurse practitioner using videoconferencing. Appointments are facilitated by a team of trained Medical Office Assistants.
To participate in the video appointment, clients and providers will need access to:
- A laptop, smartphone or tablet with a built-in microphone
- A headset or ear buds (if there is no private space available for the video call)
- An internet connection
The free service is available seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
To allow those in greatest need to access the service, the FNHA encourages clients with existing primary care providers to continue to connect with those providers.
About the First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day Program
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, there has been an interruption to many health services operations. As a result, First Nations people and their families living in BC may not be able to receive or deliver the primary health care that they need.
To ensure primary health care is accessible to all First Nations people and communities across the province, the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) has created the “First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day” Program.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
1. How does this service work?
This virtual program is easy to use for clients who can call a central number to schedule a visit.
This virtual visit is hosted by an application solution (Zoom) which is available to clients on their mobile phones, tablets and laptops.
This virtual call service operates seven days per week from
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for clients currently impacted by COVID-19 who are unable to reach their regular primary care provider or do not have one.
2. What technology do I need to access this service?
You will need a laptop, tablet or smartphone with an internet connection.You will also need a speaker on your device to speak and hear over the call.
It is recommended to use a headset, if you have one, to protect your privacy during the virtual visit.
To book an appointment, call: 1 855 344 3800.
3. Who is eligible for this service?All BC First Nations citizens and their family members living on reserve and away from home (off-reserve).
4. How can I access this service?
Each “First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day” visit is coordinated by one member of a team of Medical Office Assistants (MOA) who enables the type of virtual visit required. All appointments outside of this service will
need to be scheduled with the provider and client. (See page 2 for further instructions.)
The goal of the First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day program is to provide virtual primary health care support to BC First Nations citizens and their families as well as health care providers.
Please note: If you have an existing doctor or nurse practitioner, please reach out to them first to arrange a scheduled appointment. If you do not have an existing relationship/attachment with a doctor or nurse practitioner, then go ahead and make an appointment with the “First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day” program.