Canada will invest more than $240 million CAD toward developing virtual health care amid the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday.
A new report from Global News explains the funds will be used to create digital platforms and apps to improve access to mental health support and expand capacity to deliver health care virtually, according to Trudeau’s announcement.
“While we all do our part to fight COVID-19, it can be a challenge to deal with everything that’s happening around us and to get the help and services we need to feel well,” Trudeau said during his announcement.
“It’s important that we take care of ourselves and our families during these challenging times, and that’s why we’ve introduced more virtual health resources and mental health tools to further support Canadians through this crisis,” he added.
The funds will be used mainly to create new digital platforms and applications to give Canadians “strategies to manage stress or support from a procurement professional,” Mr Trudeau said. It will also aim to strengthen online virtual care to help stop the spread of the virus, which has officially infected nearly 60,000 people and resulted in more than 3,750 deaths in Canada.
“This investment will support Wellness Together Canada, an online portal that provides Canadians with free resources, tools, and professional support services to help with wellness and resilience, as well as mental health and substance use,” reads a press release from Trudeau. “It will also support a growing family of digital products that includes the Canada COVID-19 app, which helps people track their symptoms, receive the latest updates, and access trusted resources.”
The Prime Minister also announced $175 million dollars towards vital work from Canadian company AbCellera, who he says have identified antibodies that could be used in drugs to help treat the virus. Trudeau added that a new COVID-19 Supply Council will be created, tasked with finding innovative solutions to ensure continued supplies of personal protective equipment.