Dr. Kieran Moore says the decision still rests with individual physicians
Ontario physicians are told that a virtual “first” approach is no longer necessary and that they should offer in-person care to patients when appropriate.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said in a memo to doctors that the pressures that led to prioritizing virtual care during the pandemic have lessened.
“We know that many physicians are striking the right balance between virtual and in-person care, yet collectively we are hearing more and more about medical offices that do not provide in-person care,” said Moore.
“While virtual care has enabled access to care during the pandemic, given extensive vaccination coverage and fully accessible PPE (personal protective equipment), COVID-19 should no longer represent a barrier to in-person practice.” .
There are limits to virtual care that make it “often difficult” to meet the required standard of care, he said.
Moore stopped short of calling for a full return to in-person care, saying the decision still rests with individual physicians, but said the expectation is that all physicians provide in-person care based on clinical needs and patient preferences.