Ontario Expanding Telehealth Ontario to Include Smoking Cessation Services

Source: 
Ministry of Health Ontario

Ontario is providing more comprehensive services for people who are seeking to quit smoking by transitioning telephone-based smoking cessation services in Ontario from Smokers' Helpline to the Telehealth Ontario platform.

As of October 1, 2019, Ontarians will have easy access to registered nurses and smoking cessation support through Telehealth Ontario, in combination with other services and health information already offered, including professional medical advice, nutrition counselling and referrals to mental health and addictions support. By transitioning these resources to Telehealth Ontario, the government expects to improve and expand frontline services and supports available to Ontarians, while saving $750,000 annually.

Telehealth Ontario is a free and confidential service for health advice and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week in more than 300 languages. Through the service, registered nurses assess health issues, provide advice and direct callers to the most appropriate care over the telephone. This can also include putting the caller in contact with other health professionals or services.

The government also continues to fund other smoking cessation services at no cost to the patient, including:

  • Smoking-cessation services for Ontario Drug Benefit program recipients;
  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy and counselling through the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health;
  • A smoking cessation program for patients in hospitals, specialty clinics and primary care settings, like a doctor's office, through the University of Ottawa Heart Institute; and
  • Smoking cessation support for priority populations in northern Ontario through Lakehead University.