The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) is currently seeking feedback on its new draft Virtual Care policy before it is finalized. The Virtual Care policy is largely premised on the CPSO’s existing Telemedicine policy and retains the latter’s core tenets, namely that physicians must continue to meet the standard of care, regardless of the platform through which treatment is delivered.
In drafting the Virtual Care policy, the CPSO recognized the widespread societal shift toward remote connectivity and in particular, platforms through which patients can access health care without ever having to set foot in a clinic. The adoption of virtual care was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent need to mitigate in-person interaction. Although health care providers and patients alike were forced to adapt to new means of remote treatment as a result of a temporary (at least hopefully) pandemic, virtual care will likely remain a permanent fixture in Canada’s health care system. In light of this, the CPSO’s draft policy sets out expectations for how physicians are to appropriately provide virtual care.
The CPSO has requested feedback on the new draft policy as well as the accompanying Advice to the Profession document. The CPSO has provided some guiding questions as well as an online survey regarding the documents. You can review the draft policy and provide your feedback here; feedback must be submitted by November 22, 2021.
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