Canada Health Infoway and Nunavut to build telehealth capacity

Kimmirut 01 February 2005The government of Nunavut and Canada Health Infoway are working together to help increase access to health care through telehealth. They have announced a joint project which will include a training programme for telehealth technicians, allowing them to enhance the skills needed to operate equipment in their community.

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The project is designed to serve as a model for remote and aboriginal telehealth initiatives across the country. The announcement was made during a ceremony attended by Nunavut's Health and Social Services Minister Levinia Brown.

"We're very pleased to announce the capacity building programme. We are also very pleased to say that we have achieved our goal of having all 25 communities in Nunavut equipped with telehealth units", Health and Social Services Minister Levinia Brown stated. "The use of the Ikajuruti Inungnik Ungasiktumi (IIU) network by Nunavummiut is building healthy communities and bringing care closer to home."

"With a fully connected telehealth network, it is more important than ever to support its use through technician training", stated Trevor Hodge, Infoway's Senior Vice-President, Investment Strategy and Alliances. "This moves us forward in realizing telehealth's potential to improve the health care system", he added.

Infoway also announced a project to collect and document telehealth-related experience gained from Nunavut, including best practices in management, operations and training. This knowledge will be shared with similar communities across the country to help facilitate implementation and adoption of telehealth initiatives.

Canada Health Infoway's telehealth strategy is to increase the use of existing telehealth networks and foster the growth of telehealth programmes focusing on northern, remote, rural and aboriginal communities.

Canada Health Infoway's mission is to accelerate the development of compatible electronic health information systems across Canada. These systems provide healthcare professionals with rapid access to complete and accurate patient information, enabling better decisions about treatment and diagnosis. The result is a sustainable, more cost-efficient health care system offering improved patient safety and better quality of care. Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit corporation whose members are the federal, provincial, and territorial deputy ministers of health.


Leslie Versweyveld

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