Toronto virtual care platform Maple and the province of Nova Scotia are expanding YourHealthNS, an app which provides access to healthcare services, resources, and information, to support the province’s over one million residents.
The partnership first launched in 2021 to provide virtual care access to the 145,000 Nova Scotia residents on the province’s Need a Family Practice Registry through VirtualCareNS. With this latest expansion, even Nova Scotians who are attached to a primary care provider will now have access to virtual care through Maple’s platform on the YourHealthNS app.
“We are in a time of the worst health care crisis we’ve seen in Canada, probably ever.” -Brett Belchetz, CEO of Maple.
This care will include general consults and prescription refills, with the province covering the costs of two “visits” per year.
Co-founded in 2015 by COO Roxanna Zaman, CTO Stuart Starr, and CEO Brett Belchetz, a former emergency-room doctor, Maple developed its digital healthcare platform to address issues such as family doctor access, aiming to deliver timely and convenient access to healthcare providers.
According to an Angus Reid survey in 2022 more than 60 percent of residents in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and the four Atlantic provinces, combined, said they face challenges seeking healthcare. Nationwide, there are 6.5 million residents with no access to primary care. Belchetz has also highlighted the country’s lack of access to healthcare, including on a June episode of the BetaKit Podcast.
“We are in a time of the worst health care crisis we’ve seen in Canada, probably ever,” Belchetz said on the podcast. “It is really close to a collapse of the system across the country.”
Nova Scotia residents on the province’s Need a Family Practice Registry can still receive the comprehensive virtual care from Nova Scotian healthcare providers, including diagnostic tests, specialist referrals, general consults, and prescription refills that they were receiving on VirtualCareNS 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year on YourHealthNS.
“Partnerships are at the heart of everything we do at Nova Scotia Health,” Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, vice president and chief nurse executive at Nova Scotia Health, said in a statement. “Our collaboration with Maple on the expansion of virtual care will play a key role in enhancing options for care for all Nova Scotians. Together, we are providing the right care at the right place at the right time.”
In 2021, Maple acquired Wello, a Calgary-based company that also provided virtual care for employer programs. The acquisition of Wello expanded the employee side of Maple’s business, but Maple has seen uptake through other provincial partnerships.
In Prince Edward Island, Health PEI uses Maple’s service to provide on-demand primary care for those without a regular doctor. Meanwhile, in New Brunswick, Maple said that publicly funded virtual visits through its platform in early 2022 encouraged the eVisitNB virtual health program to become an extended offering.
Feature image courtesy of Maple