Accessing Services

Call Our Community Access Line

If you’re facing challenges living safely and independently at home, we can help. 

From assistance with daily tasks like bathing and dressing, to specialized nursing care, and support with physical rehabilitation, we can help reduce the need for hospital visits by providing you with proactive care and supports. 

You can call the Community Access Line in your region to learn how we can help you and your family members.

No doctor's referral is needed to access our services and programs.

South Island: 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.

All communities south of Mill Bay, including Greater Victoria, the Southern Gulf Islands and west to Port Renfrew:

250-388-2273 / 1-888-533-2273

Centre Island: 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.

All communities from Mill Bay to Deep Bay, including Gabriola Island:

250-739-5749 / 1-877-734-4101

North Island: 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.

All communities north of Deep Bay including the North Vancouver Island Regional District and adjacent Gulf Islands, Port Alberni and Tofino:

250-331-8570 / 1-866-928-4988

Phones are answered seven days a week, 365 days of the year. Please have the following information with you for yourself or the person you are calling for: 

  • Full name
  • BC Care Card or BC Services Card 
  • Date of birth
  • Home address

You may be asked to leave a message with your name and phone number. Your call will be returned as soon as possible.  

Costs and Eligibility

Use this drop-down menu to learn more.


Some services are provided free of charge. Others include a fee, which is determined according to your income. There may be a cost for equipment and supplies.

Adult Day Services*

A daily rate, up to a maximum of $10, covers meals, transportation (where available), and supplies such as crafts. Costs may be waived if serious financial hardship means you cannot access the services. Visit the Ministry of Health Adult Day Program website for more information about costs.

Assisted Living*

The cost of assisted living is calculated at 70% of your net income. Each subsidized site has additional costs for utilities. You can ask about these costs at each Assisted Living site you are considering.

Brain Injury Program*

Costs for the Brain Injury Program vary depending on individual circumstances and care setting. For accurate pricing information tailored to your situation, we encourage you to give us a call. Our team will be happy to help: 250-519-5299.

Community Bathing Program*

Bathing program costs vary dependent on the facility you use. To find out current rates, please call the Community Access Line for more information.

Facility Respite Care*

2024 daily rate amount is $46.59. This rate changes annually and is set by the Ministry of Health.

Home Support and In-Home Respite Care*

The daily rate is based on your income (and the income of your spouse, if applicable). Your daily rate is calculated by multiplying your “remaining annual income” (as defined in the Continuing Care Fees Regulation) by 0.00138889 (accurate as of May 2024). A client is not required to pay more than $300 for home support services in a month if the client, or the client's spouse, receives earned income.

You will not pay a daily charge for home support services if you receive any of the following:

Long-Term Care*

The rate is calculated at 80% of your net income.

Services with an asterisk (*) are subsidized, meaning Island Health covers some or all of the cost. 

To access our services, you must agree to a financial assessment, which will help determine what you pay. This financial assessment does not consider your assets.

Occasionally, costs may be covered by organizations such as: the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC), WorkSafeBC, Veterans Affairs Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, First Nations Inuit Health Branch. 

Care at home can involve other costs. You must pay for your medicines and any dressing supplies. In BC, you are also responsible for the cost of your own home safety equipment, such as walkers, bath seats, or wheelchairs.

If you experience financial hardship, talk to your Case Manager for support. 

Depending on your situation, some or all of your costs might be covered by another funding agency, such as:

  • Veterans Affairs
  • WorkSafeBC
  • Ministry of Social Development
  • Insurance Corporation of BC
  • Extended Health Benefits Plan

For more information from the Ministry of Health regarding payment visit: Who Pays for Care? Province of British Columbia.


To receive our services, you need to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a resident of British Columbia
  • Be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status*
  • Require care following discharge from a hospital, care at home rather than hospitalization, or care because of a terminal illness

For subsidized services and to receive the services of a Case Manager, you or your family member must:

  • Be 19 years of age or older
  • Have lived in British Columbia for at least 3 months
  • Be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status*
  • Be unable to function independently due to chronic health-related problems or have been diagnosed with an end-stage illness

*Landed immigrant or on a Minister’s permit approved by the Ministry of Health Services

The BC Ministry of Health sets the eligibility requirements who qualifies for our services and programs. Services and programs with costs attached have program-specific eligibility requirements. For more information visit: Are you Eligible? Province of British Columbia.

Accessing Services – Step-By-Step

Step 1

Call the Access Line for your area.

South Island – 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.

250-388-2273 / 1-888-533-2273

Centre Island – 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.

250-739-5749 / 1-877-734-4101

North Island – 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.

250-331-8570 / 1-866-928-4988

During this initial call, you will be asked questions to determine the type of care you need. At this time, you may be referred to a Central Intake Nurse.

We also accept referrals from another person on your behalf. Referrals can be made by:

  • A family member 
  • Legal guardian
  • A hospital
  • A primary healthcare provider 
  • A friend or community group

Step 2

Talk to a Central Intake Nurse.

The nurse will:

  • Understand your health care needs and situation
  • Determine your eligibility for Community Health Services
  • Determine which service(s) will best meet your needs and situation
  • Answer any questions you have about our services and programs
  • Complete a home safety questionnaire
  • Inform you of the costs, if any, for these services

If you qualify for one of our services, a healthcare provider in your area will then contact you. 

If you do not qualify for our services, we will provide information on other services in your community that can meet your needs.

Indigenous Health

Visit our Indigenous Health Services web pages, Indigenous Health Topics web pages, and Indigenous Health Resources for support and information.

2SLGBTQIA+ Community

Access our 2SLGBTQIA+ Community Resources web page and the Gender Diverse & 2SLGBTQIA+ Health Services web page for local care and support.

English as a Foreign Language

Patients coming to an Island Health location can get interpreting services on-demand in the language they need during their appointment or visit. The service is also available to patients attending virtual care appointments. Learn more by visiting our Interpreting Services web page.

Printable Materials

Considering Long-Term Care

Community Health Services Brochure

Facility Respite Care

Home Support Services Brochure

Let's Get You Home Brochure

Wellness Monitoring

Working Together Booklet

General Information on Accessing Services

Referral Required?
Not required

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