Health Links-Info Santé buzzes with important everyday health issues.
Imagine you are a first-time parent and your baby is feverish. You have no idea what to do and the hospital is far away. You’re uncertain how long it will even take for a doctor to be able to see your child if you go there.
Instead of making the drive, you phone the Health Links-Info Santé phone number (204-788-8200 or toll-free 1-888-315-9257). The nurse on the other end of the line tells you exactly what you can do to care for your child at home and advises you on whether it would be wise to take your child to the doctor. Within 10 minutes, you have the answers for how to help your child without even leaving your home.
Health Links-Info Santé answers these kinds of questions thousands of times each year. An invaluable call centre based at Misericordia Health Centre, Health Links-Info Santé is a nurse triage service that refers callers to doctors or provides advice for how to manage health problems in the home. This centre has built an extensive software database of materials and protocols to handle a huge number of different situations.
Since it opened 18 years ago as the first centre of its kind in Canada, Health Links-Info Santé has been assessing and advising patients all over Manitoba. Today, it receives approximately 200,000 calls annually.
Four years ago, the call centre was expanded and a TeleCARE-TéléSOINS program was recently launched in conjunction with Health Links-Info Santé to work with patients who require long-term advice and resources in order to better manage chronic conditions in the home. Today, Health Links-Info Santé and TeleCARE-TéléSOINS work under the Provincial Health Contact Centre, operated by Misericordia Health Centre.
What if your baby is sick?
Between mothers calling about their babies’ illnesses or diabetics wanting to know how to manage their chronic condition, the nurses, social workers and non-clinical operators at PHCC deal with a variety of issues. These include:
- What to do if your baby is sick.
- How to manage congestive heart failure.
- Where to get access for income and employment assistance.
- When to go to the hospital.
- What after-hours callers who need emergency support should do.
- Why exercising, good nutrition and other lifestyle changes play a major role in improving personal health.
The team of skilled, experienced operators are trained to be ready for emergency calls, too. Sometimes people call in with very urgent mental or physical health issues. The caring team at PHCC handles emergencies in stride, doing their best to ensure callers receive the information and attention they need.
Health Links-Info Santé is a vital part of today’s health-care system. It is part of a 20-year vision to reach out to Manitobans and provide the health-care assistance people need over the phone. We need your support to continue to expand these vital services for all Manitobans.