Info-Santé|Info-Social 8-1-1 is a free and confidential telephone consultation service.
8-1-1 is the only telephone number for this service. Dialling 8-1-1 promptly puts you in touch with a nurse for a non-urgent health problem, or with a social worker for psychosocial difficulties. The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Anyone living in Quebec can call 8-1-1 on their own behalf or for a family member.
The nurses of Info-Santé 8-1-1 provide advice and may answer health-related questions. If necessary, they may also direct you to a resource in the healthcare network. Calling Info-Santé 8-1-1 often helps in avoiding going to a medical clinic or a hospital’s emergency department. However, in case of a serious problem or emergency, it is important to dial 9-1-1 or go to the emergency department. Here are a few examples of situations in which you can call Info-Santé 8-1-1:
- You have a seasonal flu that persists for several days, and you are wondering whether to see a doctor.
- Your child wakes up with a high fever, and you are wondering whether you should take him/her to the emergency department.
- You are wondering how to relieve itching and swelling caused by an insect bite.
- You have questions about healthcare network resources.
The professionals of Info-Social 8-1-1 offer advice and may answer questions related to psychosocial matters. When necessary, they may also direct you to a community resource or to a resource in the health and social services network.
Here are examples of situations in which you can call Info-Social 8-1-1:
- You are in a situation that causes you anxiety.
- You are worried about a friend or relative.
- You are experiencing family or relationship problems.
- You are in mourning.
- You have questions about other worrisome situations or behaviour.
How a call is handled
An Info-Santé or Info-Social 8-1-1 call lasts an average of 15 to 20 minutes. The call takes place in 3 or 4 steps. The nurse or social worker:
- collects certain types of personal information
- assesses your needs
- responds to your needs
- refers you to an appropriate resource, if necessary
Collecting personal information
The nurse or social worker will ask you whether you agree to provide personal information, including your:
- first name and surname
- date of birth
- postal code
- telephone number
Personal information remains confidential. However, you are not obligated to provide it. If you wish not to do so, mention this to the nurse.
Assessing your needs
The nurse or social worker listens and asks questions about your situation. They collect the necessary information to better understand your needs and to clarify your request. Then they assess the situation to determine the immediate problem(s), the urgency of the matter and the appropriate response.
Responding to your needs
The nurse or social worker informs you about your health problem. They may also advise you about measures for monitoring the development of your situation and for improving your health.
Referral to an appropriate resource
If necessary, the nurse or social worker will direct you to a resource (e.g., a medical clinic or crisis centre) where you can receive care or the necessary services.
Getting access to service
By dialling 8-1-1, you reach the Info-Santé 8-1-1 service in your region.
Anglophones can receive service in English.
People with special needs
Info-Santé|Info-Social 8-1-1 service is customized to the specific needs of certain groups of people. Deaf people can use a relay service to gain access to 8-1-1.