Modern-day house calls come to remote B.C. town

In this photo from Livecare, a specially trained medical assistant uses an exam camera to capture images of a patient’s throat while a doctor (on screen in the background) observes remotely. Photograph by: Mercedes Leung

Telemedicine is not what the doctor ordered. It’s what patients are showing they want.

Especially in rural, remote communities like Taylor, B.C., where a first-of-its-kind clinic operated by a new company called Livecare opened Monday. Patients there can now have cyber-appointments with top medical experts sitting in their offices in Vancouver or other cities.

Taylor, a picturesque town of 1,500 that’s just south of Fort St. John, has been trying to recruit its own doctor for years, to no avail, said Mayor Fred Jarvis. Now it has access to a bounty of them.

“This is a high-tech type of service and it’s going to be tremendous. We’re all excited about it,” he said in an interview. The official opening of the Livecare clinic, located in a house owned by the municipality, was scheduled for just after lunch Monday. By noon, more than a dozen people had already had appointments with a family doctor there to meet patients.

“I’ll likely use it myself,” Jarvis said, referring to the Livecare clinic. 

Pamela Fayerman Reports

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