REGINA – A team of Saskatchewan health experts have been given the green light to determine whether a robot could ensure patients have better access to health care in isolated communities.
The ministry of health is providing $250,000 to test the remote presence technology in Pelican Narrows, near the Manitoba border.
“They are one of those communities that seem to have sort of fallen through the cracks,” said Dr. Veronica McKinney, director of Northern Medical Services.
The closest hospital to the First Nations community is about two hours away in Flin Flon and transportation is difficult.
“They have one ambulance that serves the entire area. Of the over 600 calls that they had to transfer out, only 200 were by ambulance, so sometimes it’s by taxi and sometimes it’s by personal vehicle,” said Dr. McKinney. “Even STARS, they are not able to fly the distance without requiring more fuel.”
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