Residents in the Cariboo Chilcotin, Central Okanagan, and Kootenay Boundary regions now have access to a telehealth number to navigate home and community care and chronic disease management services.
The central number was launched as a pilot project in South Okanagan on Sept. 8, 2020.
As of Dec. 1, it has been expanded and will provide a single point of access for residents in these areas to connect to health-care services in their community seven days a week by calling 1-800-707-8550.
People calling this number will reach a central intake office and will be connected to the appropriate services including community nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dietitian, social work, speech language, and respiratory therapy.
Other supports include for daily living needs, such as personal care, special exercises, medication assistance and in-home respite, adult day services such as personal care services and therapeutic activities in a community setting and eligibility assessment for funded assisted living and long-term care homes.
Chronic disease management, palliative care services with community nursing, social work and hospice care as well as acquired brain injury services, are also part of the program.
The new number does not replace existing contact numbers, including the Interior Health crisis line (1-888-353-2273), acute or emergency services, or 911.
The phone line has been developed in response to feedback from clients and the public, to make it simpler for people to find and access the services they need.
Similar improvements to access are being initiated for community mental health and substance use, where a new single phone line is also in development and is expected to launch this winter across Interior Health.
Communities within the Cariboo Chilcotin include Williams Lake; 100 Mile House; Alexis Creek; Tatla Lake; Nimpo Lake; Kleena Kleene; Tatlayoko Lake; Hanceville; Big Creek; Gang Ranch; Riske Creek; McLeese Lake; Big Lake; Likely; Horsefly; Lac La Hache; Lone Butte; Inter Lakes; 70 Mile House; TsiDelDel; Tl’esqox; Tl’etinqox; ?Esdliagh; Yunesit’in; Xeni Gwet’in; Stswecem’c Xgat’tem; Xat’sull; T’exelc; Esk’etmc; Tsq’Escen; and Ulkatcho.