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Canadian community health centres and the Internet: exploring the challenges and solutions

ABSTRACT:

Community Health Centres (CHCs) across Canada are providing essential health and social services to many communities, and this function is becoming more vital as provinces concentrate on cutting costs and developing more economic and efficient solutions to the current healthcare system. More than 300 of these community-based organizations currently serve upwards to 13% of the Canadian population, providing a wide range of services in an attempt to promote total wellness in their communities. Over one half of all CHCs are located in rural or remote areas. However, despite the apparent need for, and success of, CHCs, they are among the most underserved health provision groups in the country. Many CHCs lack critical funding and resources, particularly in the area of technology. This article provides an overview of the current situation of CHCs in Canada vis(-)a-vis the Internet and other information technologies. Some of the practical and organizational challenges facing CHCs in this area will be discussed, as well as potential solutions that could and are being developed to overcome these barriers.