According to a statement from Government House, the change intends to “greatly improve” how Virgin Islanders manage their health care by giving a “larger variety” of health care options.
According to the release, information on how to effectively develop a framework came in part from the Bryan administration’s Telehealth Provider Survey, which was launched in 2020 and sent to doctors and healthcare providers in the territory to determine the most direct route to providing telehealth access in the territory.
“We are very glad to present this suggested law to work with the forthcoming Behavioral Health Bill.” As we’ve struggled to keep up with the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up for people who are stressed and show signs of behavioural or mental health issues or substance abuse, telehealth will expand the pool of providers who can help consult on and treat them,” Bryan wrote in a transmittal letter to Senate President Donna Frett-Gregory.
The bill is part of the administration’s larger Healthier Horizons Initiative, which includes 11 significant measures aimed at revolutionising healthcare in the territory, according to Government House.
It also said that “the territory began vigorously reconstructing its healthcare delivery system when a significant demand developed from inhabitants for greater access to healthcare professionals, consultations, and experts” after the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.
“This need grew throughout the pandemic, with the territory experiencing an increase in the demand for medical staff and the availability of services like telemedicine,” according to the announcement.