Health and Social Services

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'811' Makes Health Advice Just a Phone Call Away

For Release # 08-150
June 17, 2008

WHITEHORSE – Health and Social Services Minister Brad Cathers today announced that the Yukon HealthLine is up and running, providing Yukon residents with a new option for accessing health care information right in their own homes.

“Yukon residents can now access health information and advice over the phone simply by dialing 811,” said Cathers.

Through a partnership with Health Line Services British Columbia, Yukon residents calling 811 will be connected to knowledgeable, specially trained registered nurses who can answer questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The nurses will help callers determine if they can treat a problem safely at home or should seek medical attention.

“The line is being answered by nurses in B.C. who have been trained to take Yukon calls. These nurses know, for example, that the closest pharmacy for a Ross River caller is in Whitehorse or that a resident of Old Crow can’t drive out,” noted Cathers. “As we officially launch the new service, I want to thank the many people who were part of the extensive preparation for the launch of this line.”

Yukon HealthLine will be enhanced on July 14, when people in rural communities calling their health centre after hours will have the option to connect with the HealthLine or, in the case of an emergency, contact the nurse on call.

Funding for this initiative has been provided by Health Canada through the Territorial Health Access Fund.