Last week, ICES, a provincially funded organization that evaluates health care delivery and outcomes released a study on the supply on access to psychiatric care in Ontario that confirmed that most psychiatrists across Ontario provided consultations, pharmacotherapy, or evidence-based psychotherapy and were more likely to see seriously ill patients identified as having a psychiatric hospital admission.
When I was about 25 years old ADHD was added to the ever expanding list of my neuro eccentricities. This was unsurprising, both of my parents also have this diagnosis. For years it was essentially assumed that I had ADHD, but the issues related to my depression and mood disorder were more pressing and life threatening that my inability to sit through my film history class. When I left my doctors office post diagnosis I called one of my best friends who’ve I’ve known since the age of 5 (though we were sworn enemies until age eight). The conversation went something like this:
‘Hey Ala, they say I have the ADHD. I got this fancy new prescription so I can pay attention and whatnot.’
‘...Wow Stella. Well, that only took 20 years. Are you going to be able to sit through all of ‘Planet of the Apes’ now?’
‘If I could I wouldn’t tell you.’
In Ontario, telemedicine began in the late 1990s with the goal of improving access to care for people living at a distance from healthcare providers while reducing travel for those seeking or providing that care. Over the years, telemedicine services have grown substantially within the province and by 2025, it is estimated that close to 25% of healthcare will be delivered virtually. In Ontario, tele-mental health services are provided using the technology of the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), anindependent, not for profit organization funded by the Government of Ontario. OTN is one of the largest telemedicine networks in the world, helping to deliver clinical care and professional education amongst healthcare providers and patients.