COVID-19 silver lining: experts predict innovation in medicine, education, remote work


Despite years of discussions between politicians and doctors, the Quebec government couldn’t find a way to pay its general practitioners for phone and video consultations with patients.

Dr. Louis Godin, president of Quebec’s federation of general practitioners, said the pandemic has done what years of talk failed to accomplish.

“Often there are positive things that happen during crises,” he said in a recent interview. “It allows us, sometimes, to develop things much faster than we would have otherwise done.”

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu told a Senate committee last week that the “uptick” in virtual care in Quebec and across Canada — which includes screening for COVID-19 — will leave “an amazing legacy in terms of our ability to access physicians in the 21st century.”

“If there’s any silver lining to this crisis whatsoever,” she continued, “it’s the rapidity at which I see provinces and territories moving toward innovation and the delivery of health care.”