Mar 18, 2020

By Gavin Day

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Telehealth Ontario, the service where people can consult with a nurse on medical issues, has never been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s also not working very well.

Callers to the service have faced long waits on hold, disconnections or even the complete inability to connect to the service.

“We did actively add 300 more lines this morning,” said education minister Christine Elliott at Queen’s Park. “We are actively working with the provider to remedy that because we know that it is the first point of contact for many people.”

During the issues with Telehealth, people were urged to contact their local public health authorities. Earlier this week, calls to the public health information line on the COVID-19 pandemic went unanswered as an automated message would inform the caller that lines are full and they should call back later.

As of 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the system was still down. Elliott said as the provincial government update earlier in the afternoon she hoped it would return imminently.

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