I rise today to update the house on our recent announcement to introduce 811 Telehealth for the first time on Prince Edward Island.
Just three numbers – 8-1-1, and you will have access to non-emergency health information and services.
Telehealth is a free, confidential telephone service you can call to get advice or general health information from a Registered Nurse.
That means quick, easy access to a qualified health professional, who can assess your symptoms and help you decide the best next step for you.
Telehealth can help you decide whether to care for yourself, make an appointment with your doctor, go to a walk-in-clinic, contact a community service or go to an emergency room.
In the first year of Telehealth in Nova Scotia they had over 100,000 calls… 40 per cent of Nova Scotians who called 811 have been able to do self-care and didn’t need to go to a doctor or to an emergency room. As a result, they have saved thousands of unnecessary trips to the hospital, because people are using Telehealth.
It is our hope that Telehealth will improve the use of our own health care system by providing every Islander with access to experienced health advice 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Common calls in Nova Scotia include concerns about fever, nausea and abdominal pains. Their major user is young mothers who call with concern for their children.
When you call 811, our Registered Nurses will give you the advice and provide reassurance concerning all kinds of general health issues and questions.
PEI has many international residents, so if a family does not speak English, 811 can provide services in French and many other languages including, but are not limited to, Arabic, Farsi, Spanish and Cantonese.
We anticipate that 811 Telehealth will be up and running this fall.
In conclusion, I want to clarify that Telehealth will not replace 911 – which is the first call you should make in an emergency…..but if you simply have a health questions, or you’re not sure where to turn for help, Telehealth will be there for you any time…. day or night, everyday of the year.