Logo MSSS
Site banner

Health and Social Services System in Brief

The Health ans Social Services System in Québecs

Main Roles and Responsibilities

The Québec health and social services system is comprised of two management levels. Health and social services agencies were abolished when the Act to Modify the Organization and Governance of the Health and Social Services Network, in Particular by Abolishing the Regional Agencies This link opens a new window., (CQLR c O-7.2) came into force on April 1, 2015.

The functions and responsibilities of those agencies have been reassigned in part to the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) and in part to new institutions that were created through the amalgamation of public institutions in a given region and its regional agency. These institutions are known either as integrated health and social services centres or integrated university health and social services centres. Integrated centres located in health regions where a university offers a complete undergraduate medical program or operates a centre that is designated as a university institute in the social field are called integrated university health and social services centres.

In health regions with more than one integrated centre (Montréal, Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Montérégie), the previous agency has been amalgamated into only one of the new institutions.

The Québec health and social services system is described in the Health and Social Services Institutions section.

Responsibilities of the  Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux

  • Regulate and coordinate the entire health and social services system
  • Determine health and welfare policy directions and standards that apply to service organization and human, material and financial resource management within the network, and ensure their application
  • Fulfill national public health functions (monitoring of population health; promotion of health and well-being; prevention of diseases, psychosocial problems and traumas; and health protection)
  • Ensure interregional coordination of services
  • Ensure that inter-institutional  service reference and coordination mechanisms are in place and functional
  • Divide financial, human and material resources fairly and monitor their use
  • Assess, for the entire network, results obtained compared to the goals set in order to improve system performance

Responsibilities assigned to all health and social services establishments

  • Provide quality health and social services that are accessible, ongoing, safe and respectful of individual rights
  • Ensure that users’ rights are respected and complaints diligently treated
  • Distribute fairly the human, material and financial resources placed at their disposal, taking into account  the characteristics of the population they serve, and ensure their economic and efficient use
  • Conduct teaching, research and assessment of intervention technologies and methods when the institution has a university mission
  • Take charge of monitoring and accountability to the MSSS, based on the latter’s expectations

Special responsibilities for integrated centres

  • Ensure that the population participates in network management
  • Plan and coordinate services to be provided to the population within their territory in accordance with ministerial policy directions, the needs of the population and territorial realities
  • Put in place measures aimed at the protection of public health and the social protection of individuals, families and groups
  • Ensure  availability of services for the whole population of their territory, with special attention to the most vulnerable 
  • Establish any required regional or interregional service corridors and sign agreements with the institutions and other partners in their territorial service network so as to meet the needs of the population
  • Ensure the development and proper functioning of the local service networks within their territory;
  • Subsidize community organizations and allocate funding to required private resources

All integrated centres have identical functions and responsibilities, whether or not they have university designation. However, the composition of the boards of directors of integrated university health and social services centres is different, since two board members are appointed based on a list of names provided by the universities.

Updated on : November 30, 2015

Page top


Logo québec
© Gouvernement du Québec, 2017