French Language Health Services

Recent FLS Highlights at the Ministry

French Language Health Planning Entities (FLHPE) under the Local Health System Integration Act, 2006

On January 1, 2010, a new regulation under Section 16 of the Local Health System Integration Act, 2006, came into effect to support coordinated and effective engagement of French-speaking communities on issues related to French language health services. This regulation outlines how the ministry is to select French language health planning entities to work with the LHINs. The Minister of Health and Long-Term Care selected two planning entities on June 30 and four on December 15, 2010. For more information on FLHPE, please click here.

A French Language Services Coordinator for every Local Health Integration Network

  • The ministry is committed to ensuring that LHINs have adequate French language capacity to plan for French language services and to support the engagement of the French-speaking population at the local level. In 2009-10, the Ministry provided funding to the LHINs for FLS Program Implementation and Francophone Community Engagement. In total, 14.8 French Language Coordinators were added as LHIN resources to enhance French language services (FLS). To find out more about the LHIN French Language Coordinators, please click here.

Research on the Health Status of French-speakers in Ontario

The ministry supports research projects including:

  • Analyzing existing Canadian Community Health Survey data to draw a sharper picture of the health status of French-speaking communities in Ontario. The project will allow the ministry to compare how French-speaking Ontarians fare when their numbers relative to the total population vary and when they live in rural and urban communities;
  • Collaborating with its funded research centres and Career Scientists to integrate a French-speaking component into their work;
  • Dedicating one of the Health System Planning and Research Branch MOHLTC Career Scientist grants to a French-speaking researcher;
  • Collaborating with funded knowledge transfer and exchange networks such as the Seniors Health Research Transfer Network (SHRTN) and Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO);
  • On September 21, 2009, the University of Ottawa and the Faculty of Health Sciences officially launched the Ontario Population Health of Francophone Minority Research Network, funded as part of the Applied Health Research Network Initiative, a program overseen by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

The Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) Tool

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care identified equity as a key component of quality care. It developed the HEIA tool to support improved health equity, including the reduction of avoidable health disparities between population groups.

The HEIA is a flexible and practical tool used to identify and respond to unintended potential health impacts (positive or negative) of a plan, policy or program on a broad range of vulnerable or marginalized groups within the general population. This includes assessing potential impacts of decisions on French-speaking communities, including French-speaking sub- populations. In addition, French-speaking populations are afforded specific constitutional and legal rights reflected in provincial legislation, including the French Language Services Act (FLSA). To address these issues, a French Language Services Supplement was developed alongside the HEIA tool to support the effective integration of French language service (FLS) considerations within decision-making, policy and program developmentā€”in particular when health equity issues are being addressed. Thus, FLS integration can now be considered upfront and alongside other equity issues that may surface in a Health Equity Impact Assessment.

Find out more about the HEIA tool by clicking here.

French-speaking Health Human Resources

In order to provide the data and evidence necessary to plan for adequate French language health human resources training programs, the Ministry is developing a Population Needs-Based Physician Forecasting Model that will incorporate languages spoken and other characteristics of the Ontario population.

The new Health Professions Database will collect, as mandatory fields, languages spoken by health professionals and languages in which these professionals can provide health care services

FLS support for Crown Agencies

The Ministry provides training and ongoing advice to develop and implement French language services to be included in the work done by Crown Agencies. For example, Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) receives funding on a yearly basis specifically to support the salary of a full-time FLS Coordinator and some costs associated with providing FLS.

In March 2011, representatives of 27 classified agencies, including ministry agency liaison staff, attended a half-day training session on the FLSA in order to increase their knowledge and awareness of the French-speaking community and government FLS policies. In the winter of 2012, a session focused on communications in French was delivered to the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) will also get the benefit of FLS knowledge and awareness training by the end of the 2011-12 fiscal year.

An information and referral service available in French

In partnership with the Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres, the ministry is helping to improve bilingual access to the CCACs' information and referral phone service.

For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at:
1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free)
In Toronto, (416) 314-5518
TTY 1-800-387-5559.
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
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