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The Secrétariat à l’accès aux services en langue anglaise and the Secrétariat à l’accès pour les communautés culturelles

Services for people from ethnocultural communities

The Minister of Health and Social Services has established an advisory committee to advise him in order to ensure that the organizational structure of services takes diverse ethnocultural realities into account.

Ethnocultural and language interpretation services

The organization of health services and social services takes into account the geographic, language, sociocultural, ethnocultural and socioeconomic characteristics of the population served. In order to respect the ethnocultural and language context, different measures have been taken to improve access to health services and social services for people from ethnocultural communities.

For example, translation and interpreting services are offered in some regions. These services promote access to health services and social services for people who are not sufficiently proficient in French or English to understand and be understood by health professionals. Through their work, interpreters improve the efficiency of services by facilitating communication between professionals and clients, both in terms of language and culture.

For the Montréal region, the Banque interrégionale d’interprètes (BII) This link opens a new window. [Interregional interpreters bank; web page in French only] offers interpreting services in some fifty languages. The BII serves the Montréal, Laval and Montérégie regions as well as other regions on request. Interpreting services are also offered by community groups for the settlement and integration of immigrants and refugees in some regions of Québec, including the Estrie and Outaouais regions.

Institutions that provide services in a language other than French

Two institutions merged to a Centre intégré and one facility have been recognized as also providing services in a language other than French or English:

  • The institution Hôpital chinois de Montréal, merged in the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et des services sociaux du Centre-Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal.
  • The institution Institut Canadien-Polonais du Bien-Être, merged in the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et des services sociaux du Centre-Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal.
  • The facility Hôpital Santa Cabrini, part of the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et des services sociaux du Centre-Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal.

Services for vulnerable populations

In order to facilitate the planning and organization of services for refugees and asylum seekers, physical health and wellness assessments were introduced in the health and social services network in 2012 in the thirteen cities in Québec that offer settlement services to refugees in accordance with the ministerial orientations “ Une passerelle vers un avenir en santé ” [available in French only]. These clients are now given a physical health and wellness assessment on arrival in Québec.

Furthermore, for refugee status claimants (asylum seekers), the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et services sociaux du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal offers the Regional Program for the Settlement and Integration of Asylum Seekers This link opens a new window..  

Rights of people from ethnocultural communities

The Act respecting health services and social services contains a legislative provision, section 433.1, that attests to the importance given to people from ethnocultural communities and the need to tailor the delivery of services to better meet their needs and expectations. This section explicitly recognizes the mandate of the Provincial Committee for the Provision of Health Services and Social Services to People from Ethnocultural Communities created by the Minister in June 2004. Section 433.1 stipulates that:

  • “The Minister may establish a committee to advise the Minister on the provision of health services and social services to persons from ethnocultural communities.
  • The Minister shall determine the composition and rules of operation of the committee.”

Thus, the Provincial Committee for the Provision of Health Services and Social Services to People from Ethnocultural Communities is now included in the Act. Mandated to advise the Minister of Health and Social Services, it participates and contributes to the development of an organizational structure for health services and social services that takes diverse ethnocultural realities into account.

Updated on : November 7, 2016

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