Just last year, the Healthline 811 team received 119,254 calls, an average of about 300 calls a day. Just as important today as during its inception, the important tele-service celebrated two decades of medical assistance in Saskatchewan through an emailed release.
Healthline 811 works to provide a stronger access to health-care support across Saskatchewan, helping reduce non-emergency visits to ERs and walk-in clinics in the process. Of their calls noted for 2022, about 30 per cent concerned youth under 19 years of age, leading to 473 referrals to the maternal wellness program, an effort that supports women experiencing post-partum depression.
These services have been expanded over the years to meet the ever-changing healthcare needs of Saskatchewan residents. They added a mental health and addictions line in 2006, a maternal wellness program in 2013, and this summer, the expansion of virtual physician (VP) program to support Emergency Department stabilization in rural areas according to the release.
The 811 team has come a long ways since their first phone call in 2003. Now the team of over 100 registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, and registered social workers work together to answer Saskatchewan residents’ calls for health support and advice.
"Since its inception, HealthLine 811 staff have played a pivotal role in health emergencies, including the West Nile and Avian flu outbreaks in 2004, H1N1 in 2009, Zika virus in 2017 and COVID-19 pandemic. Technological advancements in infrastructure and specialized training to adapt to the latest emerging health-care concerns have allowed staff to provide focused support Saskatchewan residents."
The confidential 24-hour support telephone line is available to Saskatchewan people in English, with translation available in over 100 languages, including for those who are deaf and hard of hearing according to the release.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority shared a special PSA through their website, which can be viewed here.