Language is an important determinant of health. Many studies, among them one conducted by l’Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) in collaboration with the Community Health and Social Service Network (CHSSN) strongly assert that quality communication and mutual understanding are essential components in the provision of health care and social services. Naturally, health providers must adapt their services to prioritize this and ensure consistent quality care.
As we know, the inability of a client to communicate effectively in French and/or navigate a cultural misunderstanding in the exchange between the professional and the client may increase the risks to client safety and the quality of care being provided. A majority of English-speaking newcomers do not have a proficiency of French needed to properly explain a health issue.
The Jeffery Hale – Saint Brigid’s Hospital is a designated institution to serve the English-speaking community of the greater Quebec City region. In a region where 98 % of the potential pool of health professionals are French-speaking and where resources are limited in language development, it is difficult to recruit bilingual employees and provide them with necessary language training. As we foresee an increase in immigrant clients and/or English-speakers wishing to use services of the Jeffery Hale – Saint Brigid’s Hospital in the coming years, VEQ and its health partners took initiative to meet this rising need. Thus came the inspiration behind the Health Passport – Passeport Santé tool.
The purpose of this tool is to:
- Open dialogue and facilitate communication to maximize the quality of care.
- Reassure English-speaking clients by empowering them with a tool to enhance their ability to explain the health issue that they face.
- Better equip and raise awareness of health professionals to the needs and realities of the English-speaking minority of the Quebec City region
- Definitively position the Jeffery Hale – Saint Brigid’s Hospital as an institution that proudly fulfills its responsibilities to both linguistic communities and establishes an environment that adapts to the needs of its clientele.
If you would like a free copy of the Health Passport, contact VEQ at 418-683-2366 x221 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A new web app version is now available! Download it at www.veq.ca/hp
The Health Passport App 1.0 is designed to help individuals and families keep track of essential health information on their smart phone, tablet or home computer; it also provides a useful guide to words and phrases in French to let patients and caregivers interact more effectively with French-speaking health care providers.
The “When Language Matters” Health Passport App 1.0 is VEQ’s first project in a new effort to harness digital technologies to enhance equitable access to services in English in Quebec. As part of the release, VEQ is actively gathering user feedback to enhance the functionality of future versions of the App. Please rate us and leave comments!
Partners in health and social services in Quebec City
Jeffery Hale – Saint Brigid’s shares a mission much like VEQ’s to promote the health and well-being of the English-speaking population of the greater Quebec City region. In fact, it is a designated institution mandated to provide bilingual (French, English) services to its clientele.
With deep roots in Quebec City’s English-speaking community and a long tradition of caring, Jeffery Hale – Saint Brigid’s (JHSB) is a public, bilingual institution dedicated to providing safe, compassionate and high quality care. Together with its partners in the health and social services network and the community, it makes a positive contribution to the health and well-being of the population it serves by delivering primary community and general services (emergency from 8 am – 8pm, external clinic, palliative care) for all age groups and a variety of services to persons experiencing a loss of autonomy.
Voice of English-speaking Quebec collaborates continually with the JHSB and Jeffery Hale Community Services to provide programs such as Take-a-Break Drop-In, Income Tax, Special Needs Social Enterprise, Chitchat Club, community events for health promotion (Seniors Forum, Health Promotion Defi Sante 05:30, Health Passport sensitization presentations and more), as well as the coordination and management of many volunteer opportunities from Day Center, Friendly Visits, Calls and Transportation to the Community Christmas Hamper Campaign.
This partnership allows a close exchange of services that best promotes the development of this community and the health and well-being of its members.
Jeffery Hale – Saint Brigid’s services
JHSB operates a residential and long-term care (CHSLD) facility, while also fulfilling its complementary mandates as a hospital and provider of community services to English speakers. Visit their website at www.jhsb.ca