The new addition to Alberta's healthcare system is designed to provide Indigenous people with culturally appropriate care and improve health outcomes.
Indigenous residents in Northern Alberta are set to receive a dedicated support line to improve accessibility within the provincial healthcare system.
On May 30, the line will be deployed in phases starting with northwest Indigenous communities. Afterward, new areas will be added to the service each week for six weeks.
The line will be staffed with Indigenous people working with Health Link, and will be available between noon and 8 p.m. each day.
In a media release, Alberta Health Services (AHS) stated the system helps provide culturally appropriate care, support and assistance navigating the healthcare system.
Stacy Greening, Chief North Zone Officer, said the support line is a crucial development in meeting the needs of Indigenous patients.
“This support line is another step in strengthening our relationships with our Indigenous patients and communities,” she noted.
“We understand that to support and serve the Indigenous population, we need to ensure culturally appropriate connection points with the system that are grounded in a patient- and-family centered approach.”
Launch details for the new service will be introduced by Indigenous community leaders through a virtual town hall meeting.
The phone number will be provided to each of the areas as service becomes available throughout the three-month rollout.
The support line comes as part of a pilot project to evaluate the resources supporting Indigenous community members.
AHS also stated the support line will undergo assessments ahead of scheduled deployments in other communities.
Health Link 811 will remain available to the public for non-emergencies and health-related questions. AHS advises all residents in Alberta experiencing medical emergencies to contact 911.
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