Albertans can now meet with Alberta-licensed physicians through their smartphone, thanks to an initiative by TELUS Health.
Babylon by TELUS Health is a service already available in British Columbia via a free downloadable app. The app can serve as a new tool for Albertans to access health-care information and support in response to COVID-19 – from anywhere in the province. Albertans can use the service to check symptoms, book appointments, see a doctor, and get prescriptions and referrals for diagnostic imaging and specialists – all covered by Alberta Health Care.
“Alberta is pleased to partner with TELUS to deliver physician services in a new way. This app is now available and ready for use in Alberta thanks to an alternative relationship plan, and it comes at a time when our health system is actively asking people to self-isolate as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using this app is an alternative to visiting physicians face-to-face when you’re not sure if your symptoms are related to the novel coronavirus or at any other time.”Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
“TELUS’ passionate and skilled health-care team is committed to driving improved health outcomes for Albertans by bringing our Babylon by TELUS Health virtual care service to communities and families across the entire province. In partnership with the Government of Alberta, our virtual health-care service bridges time and distance for Albertans in need of expeditiously accessing a physician at no cost from the comfort of home, while simultaneously keeping our amazing health-care professionals protected. It is our sincere hope that we can mitigate the enormous pressure on our health-care system through our technology, human ingenuity and compassion.”Darren Entwistle, president & CEO, TELUS
The service is being delivered to Albertans through an alternative relationship plan (ARP) between the Alberta government and TELUS. There are currently 61 ARPs in Alberta involving 2,500 doctors.
All physicians providing advice via telephone, email and videoconferencing, including virtual care, can bill for services using the health service code (HSC) 03.01AD. This includes care related to COVID-19 as well as care not related to the virus. The code will remain active as long as the chief medical officer of health determines it should remain active. For more information, physicians can read the updated bulletin on providing telephone advice (Med 221), or email email@example.com.
Find more information about Babylon by TELUS Health and download the app here.