by Jeremy Appel, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
(ANNews) – Alberta Health Services (AHS) has launched an Indigenous support line for its north zone to answer any questions or concerns Indigenous people have about the healthcare system.
The service was launched May 30 for residents of northwestern Alberta near High Level, with other communities being added weekly for six weeks, with the eastern part of the north zone added by June 20.
The support line is staffed by Indigenous healthcare professionals who take calls on weekdays from noon to 8 p.m. Staff will answer callers’ questions, assist them in accessing culturally appropriate care and assist them with navigating the healthcare system, according to an AHS news release.
“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 release notes.
Stacy Greening, chief officer of AHS’s north zone told local news outlet My Grande Prairie Now the phone line is one stop “in strengthening our relationships with our Indigenous patients and communities.”
“We understand that to support and serve the Indigenous population, we need to ensure culturally appropriate connection points with the system that are grounded in a patient- and family-centred approach,” Greening added.
The toll-free Indigenous support line can be reached by calling 1-844-944-4744.