Virtual care (also known as telemedicine) is an important service that Canadian employers should consider offering to their employees to keep them healthy and satisfied, a new survey suggests.
RBC Insurance’s recent survey found that 72% of working Canadians said that they would perceive their employer “in a more positive light” if their employer offered virtual care or telemedicine services.
The survey also noted that it was the young working Canadians group aged 18-34 that supported this perception the most – 78% of the age 18-34 group said a virtual care offering would improve their opinions about their employer, versus 60% of the age 55 and above group.
According to Julie Gaudry, senior director of group insurance with RBC Insurance, many working Canadians are faced with time constraints when visiting health practitioners. These constraints include long wait times to see health specialists, the availability of a practitioner, and the capability to take time off work.
“Younger Canadians are even more likely to face these types of obstacles, so by implementing innovative programs such as virtual care or telemedicine, employers can alleviate some of the challenges, which in turn can help increase employee health and morale,” Gaudry commented.
The survey also found that younger Canadians are more likely to value virtual care for mental health services, including consulting mental health practitioners and/or video/telephone counseling than their older colleagues. This finding is significant, RBC Insurance noted, since younger Canadians are also more likely to report lower levels of wellbeing and mental health than older Canadians. Fifty-seven per cent (57%) of those in the 18-34 age range said their mental health is good or excellent, compared to 79% of those in the age 55 and older group.