Recently the Ministry of Health expanded the resources available to British Columbians by increasing access to dieticians, making it easier for people to make informed and healthy choices. This service has been integrated into 8-1-1, a hotline which gives people access to non-emergency public health information.
This new addition will allow people to call and ask questions and obtain general advice from licensed dietitians. As part of HealthLinkBC, this program has the most up-to-date, easy-to-use, and most importantly, scientifically-based information you can find. The dietitians at HealthLink can offer helpful advice regardless of your current health status or age. Most questions asked will be healthy living and nutritional ones that will be answered by the dietitians at the general call centre. However, more complex allergy and cancer related questions will be handled by an allergy or oncology dietitian. So whatever your nutrition needs might be — you’re covered.
The ongoing strategies of programs like this are an investment in and focus on prevention. Healthcare in B.C. is by far the highest expense and with an aging population, focusing on keeping people healthier, longer can help relieve some stress off the already burdened system.
A recent report by B.C.’s provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall reported that an investment in prevention can potentially avoid up to $2 billion in yearly health-care costs. Right now, obesity-related costs alone cost the B.C. economy up to $830 million annually. Offering people access to practical advice is a step towards combating obesity, diabetes, and other health-related diseases in British Columbia. Any food concerns or questions are now right at your fingertips. The ultimate goal of this is to make the healthy choice an easy option for British Columbians.So next time you have any nutrition questions or would just like some advice on how you and your family can eat healthier, please take the time to dial 8-1-1 or visit the HealthLink BC website at: http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/dietitian/.
Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.