Virtual Care in Ontario

From December 1st, 2022: Virtual care in Ontario has changed

As a result of decisions made by the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and the Ontario Ministry of Health, OHIP-funded virtual primary care and urgent care services will are no longer available on Rocket Doctor.

There is a serious healthcare problem in Ontario, and we have developed a viable Canadian-built technology-enabled solution to help solve it. But as of December 1st 2022, Rocket Doctor will no longer be accepting appointments to see family doctors, emergency doctors and pediatricians under OHIP.

On this page, we summarize the changes and what they mean for Ontarians. We’ve also provided information on how we can work together to ensure that virtual care continues to be an available option for all Ontarians.

Read and sign the petition: Save Virtual Care in Ontario Click Here to Sign
Save ON

What are the changes?

Last year, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) announced the changes to the Physicians Service Agreement (PSA) that impacts the provision of virtual healthcare in Ontario.

From December 1st 2022, family and emergency doctors seeing a patient without an in-person visit had their fees reduced by 50-65%. Pediatricians will see their fees cut by 75%. As a result, we do not have sufficient hours of family physicians, emergency physicians or pediatricians to continue offering OHIP-funded services in Ontario.

Patients without a family doctor and/or patients who are unable to be seen in person will likely no longer be able to obtain care virtually. Patients requiring an urgent visit are now forced to go to a physical Emergency Department or walk in clinic, waiting hours in line for a visit they may not need.

Our complete service will continue to be available for patients in British Columbia and Alberta, where fee codes have remained in-tact. We will additionally continue to enable specialists across Ontario to see their patients, including our 24/7 substance use services program.

In the midst of incredible strain on our healthcare system, the timing of these changes could not be worse for Ontario, as Emergency Departments are already seeing unprecedented volumes with closures now becoming a regular practice.

Save ON
OMA logo

A decision based on opinion, not fact.

To support to their decision, the OMA have cited opinions from ‘experts’ in digital health and clinical medicine. These opinions claim that patients need to see a doctor in person as virtual care is not as effective.

 

But research shows that virtual care is an effective means of healthcare.

 

A recent study examining the experiences of 22,278 patients at virtual emergency departments in Ontario found that:

 

  • 94% rated their overall experience as highly positive (8/10 or greater)
  • Over 80% said they had answers to all the questions they had related to their health concern, believed they were able to manage the issue, had a plan they could follow, and knew what to do if the issue got worse or came back.

This data supports Rocket Doctor’s evidence, that shows that 94% of patients seen virtually on the platform did not need an in-person visit afterward.

Currently 1.8 million Ontarians live without a family doctor. By 2025, this figure is expected to reach 3 million.

According to new research, looming MD retirements, dwindling interest in family medicine and physician burnout are factors which are causing additional problems to Canada’s COVID-19-battered health system.

To date, virtual care has been supporting our healthcare system:

  • Providing a means of care for those that don’t have access to a family doctor
  • Relieving the pressure of ER staff by treating patients that don’t need to see the doctor in person
  • Providing a means of care for patients in remote and underserved communities (including indigenous populations, people with disabilities, and people in rural areas)
  • Providing an alternative means of care for people that don’t want to see a doctor in person, for speed and convenience or if they prefer a virtual setting to talk about particular healthcare issues.
Ontario map
Black female general practitioner

According to our research:

  • 50% of Rocket Doctor patients used the platform because they do not have a family doctor
  • 36% of all patients being seen on Rocket Doctor (approximately 54,000 individuals) are being managed longitudinally by family doctors, entirely virtually.

Virtual care is our best tool to create equitable access to care for all Ontarians.

From December 1st 2022, much of the positive impact that virtual care brings to our healthcare system, will be lost.

What can I do?

Rocket Doctor has been working tirelessly to reverse the decision of the PSA changes. But we need your help.

Sign the petition

Rocket Doctor has written a petition to gain support for virtual care from patients and doctors. Please sign the petition and share on social media with your friends and family.

Click Here to Sign

Contact your local MPP

Please contact your local MPP and share your thoughts on the changes. If you have used virtual care, share your experiences. If you don’t have access to a family doctor, share what this will mean for you.

Contact the OMA

Please express your concern directly to the OMA. It’s important that Ontarians share their thoughts directly.

Use the hashtag

#SaveVirtualCareOntario

Share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #savevirtualcareontario and join the discussion

Which Province Are You Located In?

Ontario

British Columbia

Alberta

Choose your care

Primary Care Appointment with a Doctor

Connect with a doctor in British Columbia for a primary care consultation. Through Rocket Doctor’s platform, you can see and speak to the doctor virtually, just like you’re in the clinic.

 

The doctor can assess symptoms or concerns through a video or audio visit in order to diagnose, prescribe medication, handle refills, write lab requisitions, order imaging, refer to a specialist and more.

Appointments:
FREE with BC Health Card

Mental Health Counselling (Mental Health Nurse)

Struggling with low mood? Unable to sleep? Experiencing a challenging time in life? Feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or burnt out?

 

Book an appointment virtually or via phone with a mental health professional. Registered mental health nurses provide counselling and comprehensive care. Chat with a trusted medical professional and receive tailored support to start feeling like yourself again.

Appointments: $80
(60 Minute Consultation)

Primary Care Appointment with a Doctor

Primary Care Appointment with a Doctor

Connect with a doctor in British Columbia for a primary care consultation. Through Rocket Doctor’s platform, you can see and speak to the doctor virtually, just like you’re in the clinic.

 

The doctor can assess symptoms or concerns through a video or audio visit in order to diagnose, prescribe medication, handle refills, write lab requisitions, order imaging, refer to a specialist and more.

Appointments:
FREE with BC Health Card

Mental Health Counselling (Registered Mental Health Nurse)

Mental Health Counselling (Mental Health Nurse)

Struggling with low mood? Unable to sleep? Experiencing a challenging time in life? Feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or burnt out?

 

Book an appointment virtually or via phone with a mental health professional. Registered mental health nurses provide counselling and comprehensive care. Chat with a trusted medical professional and receive tailored support to start feeling like yourself again.

Appointments: $80
(60 Minute Consultation)

Choose your care

Primary Care Appointment with a Doctor

Connect with a doctor in Alberta for a primary care consultation. Through Rocket Doctor’s platform, you can see and speak to the doctor virtually, just like you’re in the clinic.

 

The doctor can assess symptoms or concerns through a video or audio visit in order to diagnose, prescribe medication, handle refills, write lab requisitions, order imaging, refer to a specialist and more.

Appointments:
FREE with Alberta Health Card

Ontario

Do you have a valid/unexpired OHIP card?

Ontario

Do you have a referral?

If you do not have a referral and would like to book an appointment with our General Medicine providers please

If you have a referral that has already been faxed to Rocket Doctor and would like to follow up on its status.

Please Call
1 867 670 2273

If you have a referral for any of the below available specializations.

  • Allergy / Immunology
  • Dermatology
  • Cardiology
  • Family + Lactation Consulting
  • General Surgery
  • STI
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics
  • Gynecology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Lifestyle Medicine for Stroke Neurology
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Nephrologist
  • Pediatric Neurology
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Respirology

Please Fax
1 647 696 8973

Mental Health Counselling
(Registered Mental Health Nurse)

Accepted plans that cover this service include:

  • Medavie Blue Cross – VAC (Veterans Affairs Canada), RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Polic), the CAF (Canadian Armed Forces), and IRCCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada)
  • NIHB (Non-Insured Health Benefits) – Government of Canada program providing mental health counselling benefits ofr Indigenous (First Nations) and Inuit peoples.
  •  Canada Life – (responsible for claims under the PSHCP – The Public Service Health Care Plan)

In some cases you may be required to pay for your appointment and then submit a claim for reimbursement, for more details, please contact your provider.

Live Text Chat with a Doctor

Get the answers to your healthcare concerns from a licensed Ontario physician in real-time.

 

Connect with a doctor and chat in real-time via live text chat. Choose a time and connect with a doctor who can diagnose, prescribe medication, handle refills, write lab requisitions, order imaging, and more.

Appointments: $65

Live Video Call with a Physician Assistant

Connect with a qualified Physician Assistant through live video call from your smart phone, tablet or computer.

 

Schedule your video medical consultation at a time that works for you. Rest assured, you’re in good hands. Our dedicated Physician Assistants are highly trained, and all cases are reviewed by a fully licensed Ontario doctor.

Appointments: $65

Substance Use Services Clinic

Rocket Doctor’s Substance Use Service is dedicated to providing support, resource, and advice to individuals struggling with substance use. Our service is tailored to give individuals the freedom to seek help in a safe, secure and confidential environment.

 

If you or someone you know is dealing with substance use issues, we are here to help.

Substance Use Services appointments are completely free with OHIP

Live Text Chat with a Doctor

Get the answers to your healthcare concerns from a licensed Ontario physician in real-time.

 

Connect with a doctor and chat in real-time via live text chat. Choose a time and connect with a doctor who can diagnose, prescribe medication, handle refills, write lab requisitions, order imaging, and more. 

Appointments: $55

Live Video Call with a Physician Assistant

Connect with a qualified Physician Assistant through live video call from your smart phone, tablet or computer.

 

Schedule your video medical consultation at a time that works for you. Rest assured, you’re in good hands. Our dedicated Physician Assistants are highly trained, and all cases are reviewed by a fully licensed Ontario doctor.

Appointments: $65

Live Video Call with a Doctor

Connect with a Doctor via live video call from your smart phone, tablet or computer.

As a result of changes made by the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and the Ontario Ministry of Health, there are a very limited number of doctors providing appointments that are free of charge for OHIP-covered patients on Rocket Doctor.

Appointment wait times are expected to be significantly longer on this service, compared to our other virtual care services.

Appointments: $0 with OHIP

Substance Use Services Clinic

Rocket Doctor’s Substance Use Service is dedicated to providing support, resource, and advice to individuals struggling with substance use. Our service is tailored to give individuals the freedom to seek help in a safe, secure and confidential environment.

 

If you or someone you know is dealing with substance use issues, we are here to help.

Substance Use Services appointments are completely free with OHIP

Live Text Chat with a Doctor

Live Text Chat with a Doctor

Get the answers to your healthcare concerns from a licensed Ontario physician in real-time.

 

Connect with a doctor and chat in real-time via live text chat. Choose a time and connect with a doctor who can diagnose, prescribe medication, handle refills, write lab requisitions, order imaging, and more.

Appointments: $55

Live Video Call with a Physician Assistant

Live Video Call with a Physician Assistant

Connect with a qualified Physician Assistant through live video call from your smart phone, tablet or computer.

 

Schedule your video medical consultation at a time that works for you. Rest assured, you’re in good hands. Our dedicated Physician Assistants are highly trained, and all cases are reviewed by a fully licensed Ontario doctor.

Appointments: $65

Substance Use Services Clinic

Substance Use Services Clinic

Rocket Doctor’s Substance Use Service is dedicated to providing support, resource, and advice to individuals struggling with substance use. Our service is tailored to give individuals the freedom to seek help in a safe, secure and confidential environment.

 

If you or someone you know is dealing with substance use issues, we are here to help.

Substance Use Services appointments are completely free with OHIP

Live Video Call with a Doctor

Live Video Call with a Doctor

Connect with a Doctor via live video call from your smart phone, tablet or computer.

As a result of changes made by the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and the Ontario Ministry of Health, there are a very limited number of doctors providing appointments that are free of charge for OHIP-covered patients on Rocket Doctor.

Appointment wait times are expected to be significantly longer on this service, compared to our other virtual care services.

Appointments: $0 with OHIP

Live Video Call with a Doctor

Connect with a Doctor via live video call from your smart phone, tablet or computer.

As a result of changes made by the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and the Ontario Ministry of Health, there are a very limited number of doctors providing appointments that are free of charge for OHIP-covered patients on Rocket Doctor.

 

Appointment wait times are expected to be significantly longer on this service, compared to our other virtual care services.

Appointments: $0 with OHIP

Book an Appointment

Please fill in your details and you will be added to the waiting list for an appointment completely covered by OHIP.

Due to high demand and limited physician availability for this service, wait times are likely to be significant longer than our other virtual care services. Patients will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please do not call our support team for an update on your appointment. Our Patient Care team will contact you as soon as your appointment is ready to be scheduled.

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