Mr. Speaker, we are making the final preparations for our new Med-Response clinical support line for community health workers. This innovative project is a priority in the Department of Health and Social Services' strategic plan and advances the 17th Legislative Assembly's goal of ensuring a fair and sustainable health care system. It uses technology to connect people with services and it will be an important part of our effective, efficient health system.
The new Med-Response service will provide community health care workers throughout all Northwest Territories regions with a single phone number to call for emergency clinical support.
We have not had a system-wide approach to dealing with emergencies. When there is an emergency situation in a community, the local health care professionals may currently call their regional facility, or they may contact the emergency room physicians at Stanton Territorial Hospital or the Inuvik Hospital.
Mr. Speaker, the new Med-Response service will guarantee community health care staff access to immediate support.
Dedicated clinical staff will respond to calls 24 hours a day to help community health practitioners stabilize critical patients. They will assess patients and dispatch medevac flights quickly when needed.
The new Med-Response system will work with our telehealth service, and staff will have access to the medical information they need to provide appropriate care.
In the early stages, Med-Response will focus on emergency situations. Over time, this 24/7 service can expand to include providing physician support for chronic disease management and non-urgent consultations, and follow-up for patients discharged from hospital. It will also provide direct support for communities without a resident nurse. These changes will improve the care patients receive.
Mr. Speaker, we hope to begin in April. I will inform Members of this Assembly when the service is available. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.