Alberta’s health department applies for 8 -1-1 number for primary health care

Teletriage is viewed by health providers as an important component in primary care reform and could improve the quality and efficiency of health service.In making its determination, the commission considered a need for three-digit access that could not be satisfied with other dialing arrangements. The application of the code would be for a service, not an organization. It would not provide a competitive advantage to any service provider. The service would be offered widely and there would be no conflict with the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). It was concluded that the teletriage service met the CRTC conditions set out in 2001, since it would facilitate access on a 24-7 basis to health care providers and would be available for use across Canada.
The 811 service is viewed as a complement to the 911 emergency number. Trained 811 staff would transfer true emergency calls to 911 while other requests for health assistance could be directed to the appropriate health service provider.
It was viewed as critical that an effective public awareness campaign accompany the launch of the service. The purpose would be to minimize confusion between emergency and non-emergency services and between other N-1-1 codes in use. It would be up to the teletriage service providers to undertake publicity campaigns.
The commission has determined that by the end of 2006, all telecommunications providers will be able to free up 8-1-1- code for use for the teletriage services. At that point it will be up to provincial and territorial governments to set up, most likely as an extension to the telehealth services, the teletriage option.<

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