Trusted Health Resource 811 Celebrating Third Year

Health and Wellness

August 8, 2012 11:19 AM

More than 130,000 Nova Scotians received health care advice from registered nurses by dialing 811 this past year.

As part of Nova Scotia's Better Care Sooner plan, 811 is helping to ease pressure at emergency rooms around the province. Nearly half of all callers received instructions on how to treat their symptoms or illnesses at home and were provided with self-care advice. Around 30 per cent of callers were advised to make an appointment with a primary care provider within 48 hours.

On average, Nova Scotians make 360 calls to 811 every day.

"811 has become a trusted health resource for Nova Scotians," said Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson, who helped celebrate the third anniversary of the service at the Woodlawn Medical Clinic in Dartmouth today.

"People know that whether they have questions about symptoms or are just unsure of what to do, 811's registered nurses will provide them with professional advice on what to do or who to see, 24 hours a day."

Halifax resident Lesley Magee turned to 811 for advice with questions and concerns after the birth of daughter.

"Because my daughter had surgery shortly after birth, I was especially concerned about her health," said Ms. Magee. "I had a lot of questions and wasn't sure they needed to be answered by a physician. I have good access to my family doctor, but it's a long drive when I don't know if it's necessary to see her.

"So I called 811 and received the advice and reassurance I needed, when I needed it. They provide me with great advice."

Now in its third year, 811 health information and advice is available from any phone number registered in Nova Scotia. All calls are answered by a registered nurse or telehealth associate, who note the caller's health concerns. A registered nurse then returns the call. Health information is available by phone, fax, mail, web or e-mail, and callers can also be referred to provincial or community-based health services.

Service is available 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week in the caller's language of choice through an interpretation service.
Nova Scotians calling 811 in the past year most frequently sought advice on:
-- abdominal Pain
-- chest pain
-- colds (pediatric)
-- cough (pediatric)
-- medication question

For more information on 811, visit 811.novascotia.ca .


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     More than 130-tousand Nova Scotians called 8-1-1 for health

advice over the past year.

     Nearly half of the callers received instructions to self

treat while another 30 per cent were told to see a primary care

provider within 48 hours.

     Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson says 8-1-1 has

become a trusted health resource for Nova Scotians.

     8-1-1 is available to all Nova Scotians, 24 hours a day,

seven days a week in the caller's language.

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Media Contact: Carla Grant
              Health and Wellness
              902-424-7558
              Cell: 902-478-1683
              E-mail: Carla.Grant@gov.ns.ca