Nunavut issues 3-year telehealth contract as part of pandemic plan

Agreement with Ottawa company to run COVID-19 hotline worth $3M

The Government of Nunavut’s COVID-19 hotline has been operated by Calian, an Ottawa-based health and information technology company, since August, under a three-year, $3 million agreement. (File photo)

By David Lochead

The Government of Nunavut recently struck a $3 million deal to keep its COVID-19 hotline running for the next three years.

Calian, an Ottawa-based health and information technology company, announced its agreement with the GN in a recent news release. Sarah Horlick, a spokesperson with Calian, said the COVID-19 hotline has been running since April 2020.

Before Calian took over the hotline services on Aug. 1, 2021, the service was provided by Virtue Care Inc., Government of Nunavut Department of Health spokesperson Chris Puglia said in an email.

While other telehealth services in Nunavut cover various health issues, this hotline is specifically meant to address COVID-19, said Puglia.

Registered nurses will provide COVID-19 screening, complete contact tracing and provide public health education, Puglia added.

Calian will provide the registered nurses and the virtual public health nurses, said Horlick.

Nurses staffing the hotline are able to tell callers when to seek medical attention if COVID-19 symptoms worsen, give information on testing times and inquire on whether the caller has enough food supplies if they are isolating, said Department of Health spokesperson Danarae Sommerville.

Nurses involved with the service also provide daily monitoring calls for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are under isolation, Puglia added. He said they also perform contact tracing.

While screening for COVID-19 is a simple process, the other services the COVID-19 hotline provides, such as education, monitoring and contact tracing, is what requires nurses to be staffed, Puglia said.

The purpose of the deal is to ensure that virtual care for COVID-19 is available, which is part of the government’s pandemic response plan, Puglia added.

Horlick said that the government has the option to end the contract early, in its second or third year.

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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by Nunavut Contractor on

    Just something else that no one in Nunavut is seemingly able to do…

    • Posted by For real on

      Not one mention of Inuit or Inuktut regarding the COVID hotline ???!!!!

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