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 no longer be 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

What are the changes?

This 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 will see 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.

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

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

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

Rocket Doctor Accessibility Statement

Rocket Doctor is committed to digital accessibility, and to conforming to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, Level A and AA and complying with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) effective communication requirements, and other applicable regulations.

To accomplish this, we have partnered with eSSENTIAL Accessibility to administer our accessibility program and oversee its governance. Their accessibility program evaluates our digital products on an ongoing basis in accordance with best practices and is supported by a diverse team of accessibility professionals, including users of assistive technologies. The platform, moreover, goes beyond minimum compliance requirements by making an assistive CX technology application available to customers who have trouble typing, gesturing, moving a mouse, or reading. The application is free to download and it incorporates tools such as mouse and keyboard replacements, voice recognition, speech enablement, hands-free/touch-free navigation, and more.

We want to hear from you if you encounter any accessibility barriers on our digital properties. Please contact our Customer Support at admin@rocketdoctor.io.

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

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.

Live Video Chat with a Doctor

Connect with a doctor via live video consultation. Speak to a licensed doctor using the video camera on your smartphone, tablet or computer.

 

Schedule your video medical consultation with a time that works for you. See the doctor without the hassle of travel and crowded waiting rooms

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

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

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 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 requistions, order imaging and more.

 

Book a one-off chat with the doctor or plan for the winter season, and the months that follow with some holiday savings.

Choose an option that’s right for you. With Rocket Doctor chat subscriptions, you get access to our live chat service all year.

Single Live Chat

$55 per visit

Chat on Demand

Book a one-off chat visit with a doctor. Choose a time that works for you.

Date Loading

10% Savings

Lite

$62 /monthly cost

($744 billed annually)

15 Visits per year

$49.60 per visit

Up to 1 registered patient

Get 15 visits per year with our Lite chat membership and save $5 per visit. For individuals looking to prepare themselves for the year ahead.

25% Savings

Plus

$82.50 /monthly cost

($990 billed annually)

Popular Deal

24 Visits per year

$41.25 per visit

Up to 2 registered patients

Get access to 24 chat visits per year with some big savings. Ideal for couples looking to plan for the year ahead. Or for individuals with more frequent health concerns.

30% Savings

Premium

$113 /monthly cost

($1,356 billed annually)

36 Visits per year

$37.67 per visit

Up to 4 registered patients

Our biggest savings package! Get 36 virtual chat visits per year. Prepare for the year ahead of healthcare visits for the whole family. Suitable for individuals and couples with very frequent, chronic or recurring health concerns.

Live Video Chat with a Doctor

Connect with a doctor via live video consultation. Speak to a licensed doctor using the video camera on your smartphone, tablet or computer.

 

Schedule your video medical consultation with a time that works for you. See the doctor without the hassle of travel and crowded waiting rooms

Off Province – Ontario Licensed MD

 Video Consult

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.

In Province – Ontario Licensed MD

Chat Consult

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.

Please see here for details on our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Single Live Chat

Please note that you may not necessarily be booked for this time and date. Your reason for booking and the clinical context of the next available physician will determine the exact appointment details. Refunds will not be issued where appointments do not align with the selected time, although we will do our best to work with your schedule.