The new Seniors Health Care Support Line is now available to provide seniors and their families with support for health-care-related issues that they may have had trouble resolving.
Ron Cantelon, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors to the Minister of Health made the announcement today at the fourth of 10 public consultations taking place throughout the province on the role and function of a seniors' advocate.
"Dealing with B.C.'s intricate health-care system can be confusing," said Health Minister Michael de Jong. "Many seniors do not possess the technical knowledge to navigate the system with computers. We are making it easier for seniors and their families to get the help they need through the Seniors Health Care Support Line."
The commitment to establish a single provincial phone line, giving seniors and their families a simple, accessible way to report concerns about care and have them handled in a respectful and timely fashion, is a key component of the Province's seniors action plan that was announced on Feb. 14, 2012.
"We want seniors with health-care concerns to be heard so their issues can be properly addressed and resolved in a timely fashion," said Cantelon. "Through this new provincial toll-free phone line, we are giving seniors and their families direct support to resolve concerns regarding care."
Seniors who have issues accessing health-care services or with the health care they received can now call the Seniors Health Care Support Line to receive timely resolution of problems. This toll-free phone line is available Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by calling
1 877 952-3181 or 250 952-3181 in Victoria.
This line will supplement existing resolution mechanisms available to support seniors with complex needs who have concerns about their health care.
Other ways seniors can get help with resolving care concerns include speaking with their health-care provider, contacting the Patient Care Quality Offices and independent Review Boards, health authorities or the relevant health professional colleges.
People can call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 any time of the day or night or go online to www.healthlinkbc.ca for information on how to contact these resources. Hearing impaired services are also available by dialling 7-1-1.
June 3 to 9 is Seniors Week. Organizations and communities throughout the province are hosting fun-filled events to highlight and recognize the many contributions seniors make to society. From afternoon tea and various forms of entertainment to educational sessions on services in the community, Seniors Week encourages seniors to live active, socially-engaged and independent lives.
Through 'Improving Care for B.C. Seniors: An Action Plan', the Province is building a more accessible, transparent and accountable approach to seniors' care. The plan contains specific deliverables to help seniors and their families navigate the health system, easily access information about care options and have a clear and simple way to register complaints. More information on the seniors action plan can be found online at: www.SeniorsBC.ca
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)