Statement From President MacLean on Health Link 811 Service

Health Link 811 is an important part of our public health care system in Nova Scotia. It is disheartening to hear a private consultant was paid public funds to evaluate this service in the first place, and that their findings on the value of this service were “inconclusive.”   (Full report is posted below)

Here’s what I know to be the facts: There are more than 50,000 people without a family doctor in our province. Emergency department closure rates are up, and walk-in clinics are extremely busy, as Nova Scotians struggle to access health care services they so desperately need.

Health Link 811 has played a critical role in helping people figure out whether they need to seek immediate medical attention for their illnesses or injuries. They are often the only navigational tool available to help people figure out how they can get the right care, in the right place, at the right time. Without them, where do people without a family doctor turn?

But that isn’t all they do: our members who work for Health Link 811 also refer callers who are seeking help with quitting smoking or gambling.

This service is important. It’s also interesting to note that the workers who provide this service were actually not consulted as part of this report, which is likely yet another expensive dust-collector that will sit on the shelf alongside so many other consultants’ reports, and will do nothing to address the real crisis in our health care system.

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