Patients on surgical waitlists in Alberta Health Services’ central zone should expect an automated phone call or voicemail as part of an initiative to update surgical waitlists.
Patients will be asked to confirm AHS has contacted the correct person, the provincial health authority said in a statement this week. As part of the process to confirm waitlist status, the surgical wait-list management team will ask for the patient’s provincial personal health number and birthdate to confirm their identity.
Patients who hang up or do not call the number back will not see their position on the waitlist affected.
AHS is reminding patients it will never ask for financial information or for any personal information other than provincial personal health number or birthdate during these calls. If the phone call or voicemail asks for additional information, such as a social insurance number or banking information, do not provide that information or return the call.
To help patients determine that the call is not a scam, a webpage has been created outlining the scripts being used for each zone.
This initiative is part of AHS’s surgical recovery plan, which includes other strategies to reduce waitlists for non-urgent scheduled surgeries. The first phase of this pilot in the AHS Edmonton Zone reduced the surgical waitlist in pilot departments by 5.6 per cent.