Increase the availability and accessibility of resources to Indigenous partners in COVID-19 pandemic health and wellness planning and response, including the implementation of the Rural, Remote, First Nations and Indigenous COVID-19 Framework to ensure access for all Indigenous Peoples to immediate and culturally safe and relevant care closer to home. (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions) – ensuring accessibility of recovery beds, and evidence-based, culturally relevant and safe services to meet the needs of Indigenous Peoples, including youth.

Ministry of Health; Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions



How far along
is this work?


How complicated
is this work?


Are there


How are we
working together?


Approved funding for Real-Time Virtual Support services in 2022/23 supported physicians and other healthcare providers to provide culturally safe virtual primary care services including extended hours and increased access to care for those who have difficulties travelling.


  • Implementation project underway: All Service plans reviewed and funding letters issued (100%).
  • Indigenous patient satisfaction rates: From patient satisfaction surveys, over 90% of users accessing the First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day service report satisfaction with their appointment and over 95% of users indicate they would recommend the service to their family and friends.
  • Implementation project underway: From implementation in April 2020 to March 31, 2023, there were 30,123 First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day encounters. From implementation in August 2020 to March 31, 2023, there were 4,483 First Nations Virtual Substance Use and Psychiatry Service encounters.

How are we working together?

Regular, ongoing and collaborative partner meetings with the First Nations Health Authority to support program implementation and oversight. Planning for engagement with First Nations, Inuit  and M├ętis health care providers and patients to provide feedback on their experience, outcomes and opportunities to improve primary care funded virtual care services.

Are there challenges?

Funding for Real-Time Virtual Support services ends in March 2024, as it is currently funded out of COVID-19 contingency funds from Treasury Board. Sustainment and expansions of this service will require identification of base funding to ensure it is a fully funded operation.