HealthLink 811 Line Launched


Published Wednesday, July 29

Nova Scotians can now dial 811 and be confident health advice and information will be waiting on the other end of the line. HealthLink 811, the province's new 24-hour, seven-days-a-week telecare service, has been launched.

When a person dials 811 from any phone registered in Nova Scotia, they will be directed to an experienced registered nurse who will ask the individual to describe the symptoms they or their family member are experiencing.


Part of ensuring a sustainable health system is to use information and communications technology to make health-care services more accessible for each and every Nova Scotian. HealthLink will provide Nova Scotians with health advice when and where they need it.Health Minister Maureen MacDonald

The Nova Scotia nurses we have hired have a great deal of clinical experience in many different health-care environments. In addition, they just completed a four-week tele-nursing orientation program, which included learning to use the clinical decision support software which helps the nurses to assess the urgency of the patient's need for health care and the level and timing of the intervention required.Lois Scott, vice-president, clinical solutions, McKesson Canada

Quick Facts

  • 811 phoneline nurses will assess the urgency of the caller's symptoms or health condition and advise them on the next steps, such as appropriate self-care, or to seek services from a family physician or another health-care provider, or to visit an emergency department.
  • The nurse may also provide health information or direct the caller to an automated library of recorded health information available online at
  • All calls are confidential, there is no cost to the caller and a Nova Scotia health card is not required.
  • This type of health line is widely used in other provinces and has had a positive impact.
  • The HealthLink 811 service will be available in multiple languages through French-speaking bilingual nurses as well as an on-demand third-party translation service.
  • There is a combination of full- and part-time telecare nurses, telecare associates, and various clinical, quality and administrative support positions.
  • The call centre, which houses support staff and several nurses, is in Dartmouth. The other nurses work from home.

Learn More

Media Contacts

Krista Higdon
Department of Health
(902) 424-2583
Line Chapdelaine
McKesson Canada
(514) 832-8480


Health Minister Maureen MacDonald discusses the benefits Nova Scotians will realize from the HealthLink 811 program.
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One of the registered nurses providing assistance at the 811 call centre talks about the program yesterday.
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Two registered nurses working at the HealthLink 811 line discuss procedures.
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Video of the event


Health Minister Maureen MacDonald: "HealthLink 811 will help Nova Scotians live healhier lives."
Health Minister Maureen MacDonald: "The new service can provide help in many languages."
Lois Scott, vice-president, clinical solutions, McKesson Canada: "The nurses working with the service have a great deal of experience."