Ontarians Can Get 24/7 Health Advice Online & Avoid Unnecessary ER Trips With New Tool

There's also a new phone number you can call.

Health Minister Christine Elliott making a government announcement.
Toronto Associate Editor

Health Minister Christine Elliott making a government announcement.

There's a new way that Ontarians can get access to health care, and you might not even have to leave your house.

On Friday, April 22, the Ontario government announced that they've launched a brand new tool that'll connect Ontarians to registered nurses and help them find health care services and any other info they may need on just one website.

"This will help Ontarians avoid unnecessary visits to emergency departments and unneeded delays in accessing care, helping to preserve hospital capacity for when it is needed most so that the province can stay open," a government release reads.

The new tool, called Health Connect Ontario, will replace Telehealth Ontario, and with its launch, Ontarians will have 24/7 access to health advice and health services.

Residents can also call 811 to use this new service, and anyone who calls Telehealth Ontario will be redirected.

"As part of our government's plan to stay open by building a better, more resilient health care system, we're connecting Ontarians with nurses and the high-quality health services they need from anywhere at any time," Health Minister Christine Elliott said in the announcement.

So, what exactly will Health Connect Ontario do?

According to the Ontario government, the new tool will:

  • Connect Ontarians to a registered nurse (either on the phone or online)
  • Help users find a primary care provider if they don't have one already
  • Allow Ontarians to get an initial health assessment and advice
  • Connect users to mental health and addictions services
  • Provide Ontarians with a symptom assessment tool so they can understand their health concerns and how to access the right care
  • Help users find local health services, including home and community care or caregiver support
  • Connect Ontarians to a specialized health professional if they have any questions about food and healthy eating, breastfeeding or how to quit smoking
  • Provide general guidance for Ontarians' health care journeys
The government reminds Ontarians, however, that Health Connect Ontario and 811 should only be used for non-urgent health care info, referrals and advice, and will not replace 911, which should still be used for medical emergencies.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Alex Arsenych
Toronto Associate Editor