Indigenous people across Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) North Zone, particularly in Wood Buffalo, now have dedicated access to supports over the phone.
The line originally started as a pilot project in High Level and northwestern Alberta on May 30, 2022.
In a statement, AHS expanded on the support line that helps Indigenous peoples in the North Zone better navigate the health system.
“Staff will answer callers’ questions, help them access culturally appropriate care and support and assist them with navigating the healthcare system. Clients can call at any time during their healthcare journey with questions or concerns, whether they are not currently receiving care, about to start care, in care, or discharged from care.”
The toll-free number for Indigenous supports is 1-844-944-4744.
Indigenous Wellness Core staff are available for First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples weekdays from 12 noon to 8 p.m.
“AHS values Indigenous culture and the unique needs of individuals, patients and families and is incorporating traditional culture into the healthcare system.”
Health Link (811) also remains available 24 hours a day for non-emergency health questions.
In the event of an emergency, AHS maintains 911 is the number to call.
The unveiling of the support line aligns with National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations in Wood Buffalo and across the country.