When jurisdictional boundaries become barriers to good patient care

J. Stephen, K. Fergus, S. Sellick, M. Speca, J. Taylor-Brown, J. Turner, K. Collie, D. McLeod, A. Rojubally


Canada is a pioneer in remote cancer care delivery to underserved populations; however, it is trailing behind on policies that would support clinicians in providing care using distance technologies. The current policy framework is disjointed, and discussions by professional boards about online jurisprudence associated with licensure appear to be regressive. We hope that by addressing the discrepancies in interjurisdictional practice and focusing on the key issue of “where therapy resides,” we will be able to nudge dialogue and thinking closer toward the reasoning and recommendations of national telehealth organizations. We present this discussion of jurisdictional issues and e-health practice in the context of a pan-Canadian online support program developed for cancer patients and family members. Although the present paper uses online support groups as a springboard to advocate for e-health, it ultimately addresses a broader audience: that of all Canadian health care stakeholders.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.20.1209

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)