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Because the safety and quality of healthcare services concern me!

Active offer of health services in both official languages:
How is it pertinent in healthcare?

The active offer of healthcare services is defined as the set of measures taken to enable patients to receive services in the language of their choice without having to request it. Such services should be as easily available, accessible, and of comparable quality, as services provided in the other language.

Such active offer is not a natural reflex among our health professionals, whether francophone or anglophone. In addition, while the issue of active offer is often reduced to a question of linguistic competencies, it must be regarded as an essential component in the delivery of safe, high quality health services. This active offer is the business of all stakeholders in the system: managers, bilingual staff, unilingual staff, and patients.  It is both an individual and an institutional responsibility.

In Canada, the active offer of services operates in various contexts. Indeed, there is a great variation among provinces, and even among regions in a given province, in the situation of language communities in a minority setting, mainly due to demographic and legislative factors. However, our objectives must remain the same across Canada when it comes to providing access to safe and high quality health services in both official languages.

This training program intends to raise participants’ awareness of the value, both for the healthcare system and for patients and care providers, of actively offering healthcare services in the official language chosen by the patient. Without a solid understanding of the risks that may result from the lack of services in one’s own language, it is difficult to fully embrace an active offer. The program also focuses on bringing to the fore the important role of healthcare providers in durably improving the active offer of healthcare services in patients’ official language of choice.


Intended participants: Healthcare managers and professionals


The development of this training program is funded by Health Canada as part of its Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013-2018.


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