In Québec, French is the official language of public administration. As such, all health and social services institutions in Québec provide their services in French. However, some people are more comfortable communicating in English and have the right to ask for services in English.
In fact, Québec’s Act respecting health services and social services (ARHSSS) stipulates that services must be accessible in English;
- to the extent that they are indicated in the Program of access to health services and social services in the English language (Section 348 of the ARHSSS).
- taking into account the human, financial and material resources of the institutions that provide these services.
The services provided in English are also governed by the Charter of the French Language, which determines the use of French based on the type of institution concerned:
- The institutions identified as indicated by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) determine which services they will make accessible in English in their Program of access. They must comply with all provisions of the Charter of the French Language. (link to https://www.oqlf.gouv.qc.ca/francisation/admin_publ/aide-memoire-sante-et-services-sociaux.pdf)
- The institutions identified as designated by the MSSS must make all their services accessible in English.
All CISSSs in the Montérégie region are indicated. However, some facilities of the CISSS de la Montérégie-Ouest are designated:
- Centre d’hébergement d’Ormstown
- Centre d’hébergement du comté de Huntingdon
- CLSC Huntingdon
- Hôpital Barrie-Memorial
- Centre de réadaptation en dépendance Foster (CRD Foster)
Health Passport: a tool for improving communication
The Health Passport can make it easier for the English-speaking population to communicate with healthcare professionals. In particular, it contains a glossary of health-related words and phrases to help the user prepare for a medical visit. https://health-passport.ca
Program of access to health services and social services in English
As stipulated in the ARHSSS (Section 348), each institution must have a Program of access to health services and social services in the English language, indicating the services it agrees to provide in English to the English-speaking population.
- 2016 update to the 2011-2014 Program of access to health services and social services of the Montérégie region
The three CISSSs in the Montérégie region regularly update their program of access by:
- taking steps to improve access to a range of health services and social services in English. In particular, they implement the measures and mechanisms needed to do so;
- developing and maintaining relationships with partners in the English-speaking community;
- promoting access to documentation in English for English-speaking users.
Partners in the English-speaking community
- Assistance and Referral Centre Health and Social Services (ARC): http://arc-hss.ca/
- Montérégie West Community Network (MWCN): https://mwcn.weebly.com/
- South Shore Community Partners Network: https://www.sscpn.org/
- Riverside School Board: http://www.rsb.qc.ca/?lang=EN
- Lester B. Pearson School Board: https://boardsite.lbpsb.qc.ca/
- New Frontiers School Board: https://www.nfsb.qc.ca/