Coming soon to Quebec: Book a doctor's appointment online
One year after creating a province-wide registry for family doctors, Quebec is launching a centralized portal to make appointments with a doctor.
The website and app is called Rendez-Vous sante Quebec will allow people to schedule appointments at any clinic near their home or workplace.
Patients will also be able to specify whether they want to visit their own family doctor, or whichever doctor is available.
"If your own family physician is not available, the application will refer you immediately to a colleague of that physician," said Health Minister Gaetan Barrette.
Quebecers will be able to book their appointments via their cell phones, tablets or computers and receive confirmation of your booked appointment via the app. People can also cancel at any time.
Barrette said that this adds to existing services, and that people will always be able to make a phone call and get an appointment.
Barrette said his ideal goal is for patients to be able to see a family doctor the same day or the next day.
"Advanced access is about not giving appointments too much in advance. It's about opening up your schedule to the needs of patients. Giving annual appointments is something that is not the way to practice medicine today," said Barrette.
"It's been studied. The annual appointment if you're not suffering from any disease or so on, this is not recommended by anybody."
The website is still being developed, but is visible at https://www.rvsq.gouv.qc.ca/home.html
It will start with a pilot project in one region, and once the bugs are worked out will expand across Quebec to clinics that choose to take part.
The app will give Quebecers access to their doctor's schedule or that of another doctor.
“If you don't have a family physician or if your own family physician is not available, the application will refer you immediately to a colleague of that physician. If you don't have a family physician, it will offer you availability to whoever is available within a radius of whatever kilometres that you will decide on the application,” said Barrette.
When asked if a person can book an appointment for someone else, Barrette said as long as they had that person's Medicare card number, they could.
The government is investing $4.5 million into the project.