Since May 20, 2008, a single three-digit phone number, 8-1-1, is all you need to reach Info-Santé. This easy-to-remember number can be dialed from anywhere in Québec, except in the far north (Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James and Nunavik). Info-Santé 8-1-1 allows you to reach a health care professional easily for non-urgent cases.
Info-Santé 8-1-1, remember it!
What’s Info-Santé again?
The Info-Santé service allows you to contact a health care professional about non-urgent problems. This professional consultation service is accessible by telephone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is a major part of first line health care. It offers answers to common health questions and directs users to the right service in the health and social services network. This complements health and social services centres and family medicine groups, which care for patients on a continuing basis.
However, in an emergency, patients should go to an emergency room when possible, or dial 9-1-1 for help (police, ambulance, firefighters).
Why a single number?
The use of a single number throughout Québec is meant to make it easier for the population to access services. Currently, Info-Santé staff answers 2,400,000 calls annually.
In June 2004, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux set up a working group to review the role and organization of Info-Santé services in Québec. Based on its recommendations, the Minister of Health and Social Services decided on certain measures to improve Info-Santé services. Chief among these were the centralization of the services to one call centre per health region and the networking of the 15 sites.
Now, dialling 8-1-1 will connect you to one of the 15 Info-Santé call centres. These call centres are connected to each other so that, if there is an overflow in one centre, calls will be transferred to another. This will help to reduce wait times. Previously, there were more than a hundred different Info-Santé phone numbers, as it worked at the local level.
This reorganization of services also aims to improve working conditions for staff to ensure better personnel retention. The use of Info-Santé before first-line health services reduces the pressure on first-line staff and provides increased efficiency by reducing costs. Increased use of Info-Santé will be beneficial for the population, health care workers, and the whole health system.
If you are looking for local health care resources visit Recherche des installations et des établissements de votre territoire CLSC (in French only)