Prince Edward Islanders can now get non-emergency health advice and information over the phone through a new telehealth service.

Doug Currie

P.E.I. Health Minister Doug Currie says the 811 telehealth service will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (Maggie Brown/CBC)

The service, accessed by dialing 811, is already operational and taking calls.

"Islanders can talk to a registered nurse for health advice, when and where they need it, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Health Minister Doug Currie in a news release.

"The 811 service offers callers professional health care support in the comfort of their homes."

Callers will talk directly to a registered nurse, who can not only provide health care advice, but can also direct callers to the appropriate type of care, whether that be a visit to a family doctor or an immediate trip to emergency.

Service will also be provided in English, French and more than 120 other
languages, including Arabic, Farsi and Cantonese. Those with hearing
impairments can access the service by calling 711 (TTY).

P.E.I. is partnering with Nova Scotia to offer the 811 service. P.E.I. calls are taken by RNs in Nova Scotia, but jobs on the telehealth line are now open to P.E.I. nurses, and one has already been hired.

Currie said the 811 system should help ease the pressure on emergency departments by directing Islanders when appropriate to other types of health care.