TeleHealth Canada is a service provided by the Canadian Government that offers free medical advice via phone calls. The 24-hour service provides callers with professional medical information from qualified nurses, seven days a week, according to Ontario Ministry of Health.
The mode of operation of TeleHealth Canada is simple, as described by Ontario Ministry of Health. A patient makes a call that goes directly to a registered nurse, who asks the patient to describe the sickness and then provides advice based on the symptoms described. The nurse can advise the patient to visit a doctor, or give the patient the phone number to a local community health institution.
The service is provided in both English and French, with translations available for other languages. Patients with hearing and speech problems can contact Teleheath Canda using text Telephone (TTY) services. Callers can also access medical information via audio tapes. Examples of issues that can be handled by Telehealth include illness or injury, breastfeeding support, chronic illnesses, nutrition and healthy lifestyles. Although the service is helpful in many ways, it is not meant to replace 911 emergency services. 911 should be the first option in emergency situations, according to Ontario Ministry of Health.