Why Ontario is reducing doctors’ payments for one-off virtual appointments. And what it could mean for your health care
I had to get to Toronto early Friday before the doctors’ meeting over in Hamilton. I called a few other people on my email list, and they all arrived right on time. We piled into a room in the lobby where an enthusiastic young man explained how to download our data from our iPhones and iPads, and then we tried the iPad app.
We were ushered into a room where there were a dozen or so people talking over one another with iPads in front of them, and while we were waiting there were at least 20 more people trying to download their data from our iPhones. We talked with a man standing by his iPad, who came to me and asked if I’d like to try the iPad app.
“Oh, my goodness, it’s so slow,” I said.
“I thought you liked slow web apps,” he said.
We both laughed and downloaded our data. I was surprised that it took us a good hour.
It may have taken an hour, but now I’m back to work and I have my iPhone, ready to share with you.
But before you go on, I need to say one other thing. My friend Bob Daley, who is a computer scientist in Toronto, and who is also a very strong supporter of Ontario’s plan to eliminate the need for doctors to send patients to specialists when necessary, explained to me that the app he downloaded was like the equivalent of a Facebook page. The doctor sends the patient a message saying, “This is my page, and you can send me a message.” Bob’s page was full of people asking him questions, and people wanting to know where his next treatment was and how the process had been working thus far. He said that it’s the equivalent of the “page” of