General Health

BC Nurses Line

BC Nurses Line

British Columbia provides a free health information and advice telehealth line operated by HealthLink BC. Access to the nurses line in BC offers residents of BC quick access to trained, certified health care professionals to discuss immediate non-emergency medical concerns. Registered nurses are equipped to provide valuable advice to help patients and family members offer self-care for illness or injury at home.

Access to the right information is vital, and the skills and expertise of a trained healthcare professional can often be exactly what is needed to ease the stresses caused by the unknown when it comes to personal health concerns. Often a quick answer, advice or at-home care plan can be the answer instead of an in-person physician visit. Nurse’s lines are a helpful resource for non-emergency medical concerns and questions.

Does BC have a Nurses Line?

Yes, BC does have a Nurses Line. The BC Nurses Line phone number is accessed by calling 8-1-1.

Nurses are available to help with non-emergency health issues, discuss symptoms and procedures and make recommendations about seeking in-person care. The BC nurses line is designed to help residents manage their health and well-being through specialized knowledge and information. Registered nurses are equipped to help answer questions about symptoms, assess overall concerns and help identify if further medical attention is needed. Nurses can also provide home treatment options. The nurse line BC uses nurses with specialized knowledge about many health topics such as palliative care, mental health and chronic illness, among many other health-related topics.

HealthLink 8-1-1 and all available services, including the BC nurse’s link, are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year.

Who can call the BC Nurses Line?

Anyone in Canada can call 8-1-1. Calling 8-1-1 as a BC resident connects callers with health services professionals within BC. 8-1-1 is a nationwide number available throughout Canada for 24/7 health support and information.

What is 811?

8-1-1 is a non-emergency health services support line connecting callers with a health services navigator who will then connect them with appropriately certified health professionals based on individual needs and concerns.

What is 811 in BC vs Areas Outside of BC?

BC 8-1-1 callers are directed to healthcare professionals within the British Columbia province. Outside of BC, 8-1-1 is a nationwide line for non-emergency telehealth services.

How Do I Call 811?

Those who need to contact telehealth services can dial 8-1-1 or dial 604-215-8110 on their landline or cell phone. You can also connect via an app on your phone. Within the Health Services Locator app, users can click on a link to connect to 8-1-1.

Can 811 Prescribe Medication?

No 811 cannot prsecribe medication at this time. HealthLinkBC pharmacists are available to answer questions about medications, such as common side effects, how to store medicine, what to do about missed doses, safety and other medication-related questions and information.

Is 811 Open 24 hours?

Yes. 8-1-1 services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year.

What is MSP in British Columbia?

British Columbia Medical Services Plan (MSP) is a government health plan available to all residents of BC. MSP is available to all residents who live in the province for six months or longer but is not an automatic benefit. Residents are required by law to enroll in MSP.

The application process includes a three-month waiting period, after which the plan will cover basic medical care costs throughout Canada. MSP does not cover some services such as prescription drugs, dental care, routine eye care, corrective lenses or medical care outside of Canada.

What is a Nurse Hotline?

A nurse hotline, or nurse advice line, is available to support the community by assessing symptoms and offering advice, referrals and education about medical conditions, healthcare and medications. One significant advantage of a nurse’s hotline is accessibility. Nurse advice lines are typically available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for non-emergency access to certified health care professionals.

What is HealthLink BC?

HealthLink BC is a government-funded telehealth service available at no charge 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide free, non-emergency information and advice regarding healthcare and medical needs. Healthlink services are available via telephone (8-1-1), website and mobile app.

What is 811?

Those who need or want to access the BC nurse line can call 8-1-1. Calling 811 BC allows residents to access help from registered nurses, dietitians or pharmacists. Another service of the 8-1-1 nurse line includes help finding nearby health resources. Hearing-impaired residents can call 7-1-1 to access the BC nurse line. The BC Nurses line also provides translation services on request when needed. Translation services are available in 130 languages.

What is the Healthlink BC Website?

The HealthLink website,, provides access to print resources such as the BC Healthguide Handbook and other medically-approved information covering thousands of health topics and symptoms. In addition, the website is a resource for healthy lifestyle tips. Another helpful feature of the website includes an integrated search and mapping tool connecting residents with the vast amount of health services options throughout BC.

What is the Healthlink Mobile App?

BC Health Service Locator App is available for download free from iTunes or Google Play. Using the app, residents in BC can locate nearby walk-in clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms, immunization clinics or after-hours pharmacies. The HealthLink mobile app uses location services to share nearby service providers. It shows other helpful information about each provider, such as provider addresses, phone numbers and hours of operation. Users can quickly call 8-1-1 or the BC Nurse Line direct number within the HealthLink mobile app.

What is a Health Services Navigator?

The first point of contact when calling 8-1-1 is a health services navigator. A health service navigator is prepared to provide health information, help residents understand the health care system and find services across BC. Health services navigators also connect callers with registered nurses, dietitians, qualified exercise professionals or pharmacists as needed.

When Should I Call 911, 811, or 311 in BC?

British Columbia provides several toll-free numbers for residents to find helpful information and answers to questions. Understanding which number to call is essential to receiving the corrected needed or desired information.

  • 911: emergency line for situations that require an immediate response from an ambulance, police, or fire department.
  • 811: 24-hour HealthLink line available to provide information and advice by connecting you with healthcare professionals or pharmacists.
  • 311: a tip and information line provided by the city of Vancouver available for residents to voice complaints and ask questions about issues related to city services.

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