Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are strengthening 811 service and saving money by signing a new contract with McKesson Canada.
Under the contract, McKesson Canada’s team of registered nurses will continue to provide health-care advice by phone to residents of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island until March 2019.
In the first 16 months of the contract, Nova Scotians will save more than $700,000. Based on projected call volumes, the cost of providing 811 service will be about $43 per patient.
In the coming months, the contract will also include helpline support in Nova Scotia for those who want to stop smoking. McKesson already provides helpline support for those harmed by problem gambling, and that support is also included in this contract.
“We all need health advice we can trust. New parents, people in rural areas, seniors or anyone who needs health advice in another language can benefit from our 811 service,” said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine.
Over the life of the contract, it will cost Nova Scotians about $30 million, based on patient volumes. As part of the contract, a program review will take place in the first year.
P.E.I. will continue to pay costs associated with its residents’ use of the service.
“I am extremely pleased to have the 811 service available on Prince Edward Island,” said Health and Wellness Minister Doug Currie.
“811 provides callers with evidence-based, reliable information, allowing them to make informed decisions regarding their health.”
Last year, 811 registered nurses helped more than 120,000 Nova Scotians with advice about everything from abdominal and chest pain to rashes, coughs, nausea and vomiting.
The service is available around the clock, in over 120 languages.
In Nova Scotia, problem gambling support can be accessed by calling 1-888-347-8888. Smokers who want to quit can call 1-877-513-5333.