The Province of Ontario’s COVD-19 page has a notice saying they were experiencing technical issues with the Telehealth Ontario Line on Wednesday.
“We are currently experiencing technical issues with the Telehealth Ontario Line. During this service interruption, we ask that you contact your local public health unit for immediate support,” the statement read on the Ontario government webpage.
“We are working to resolve this situation, and apologize for any inconvenience.”
Minister of Health, Christine Elliot confirmed the problems over Twitter.
“We understand people are having difficulty connecting with Telehealth. Please know we are actively working with the vendor to resolve any immediate issues.”
She also added that on Wednesday morning, 300 additional lines were added and more will be done as expansion continues in the next couple of days.
We understand people are having difficulty connecting with Telehealth. Please know we are actively working with the vendor to resolve any immediate issues and as of this morning added an additional 300 lines. More will be done as we further expand capacity in the coming days.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) March 18, 2020
The province generally advises residents to call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, a local health unit, or a primary care physician, if individuals think they have coronavirus symptoms.
All residents are being told to not visit assessment centres unless they have been referred by a healthcare professional.
On Monday, the provincial government announced plans to expand service capacity for Telehealth Ontario to reduce call wait times.
Since the start of the week, the province said there have been more than 8,000 coronavirus related calls.
Its latest health initiative is rolling out in two phases.
The first is to immediately increase resources to reduce call wait times and the second is to continue to manage coronavirus call volumes.
Additionally, Ontario has approved new physician billing codes to enable doctors to continue to provide routine health care services by video and telephone, including the assessment of possible coronavirus symptoms.