Enhancing Knowledge of the Health Status and Well-Being of English-speaking Quebecers

Through the Official Languages Health Contribution Program funded by Health Canada, the CHSSN and its various partners are carrying out initiatives to improve access to health and social services for English-speaking Quebecers, as well as their health status and well-being.

One of the CHSSN’s initiatives, undertaken in cooperation with the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), deals particularly with enhancing knowledge and falls within the “Official Languages Health Projects” component of the contribution program. This initiative respects the orientations and priorities of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec (MSSS) and takes into account the INSPQ’s mission. This project is a continuation of collaboration that began during a March 2008 forum organized by the CHSSN, in which the MSSS also participated. Subsequent to this forum, the INSPQ and the CHSSN have continued discussions to develop joint opportunities to enhance knowledge about English-speaking Quebecers.

The goal of the initiative to enhance knowledge is to:

Carry out studies, analyses, and research to improve knowledge of the health status and well-being of English-speaking Quebecers, the problems facing English-language communities, access to and the use of health and social services, and the most effective intervention methods for reaching the English-language communities of Quebec.

Thus the “Enhancing Knowledge” initiative of the “Official Languages Health Projects” component calls on the INSPQ to work with the CHSSN and in partnership with the MSSS, and to explore the linguistic dimension of its work on the health status of the Quebec population, on access and use of health services, and on community development. Three priorities have emerged in regard to this action strategy: knowledge of the health status of English-speaking people in Quebec; an analysis and evaluation of the adaptation of health and social services; and community development.

The INSPQ has consequently recommended two approaches: the first consists of including the linguistic community component, i.e. the aspect of being English-speaking, in certain studies, analyses and research undertaken as part of it annual program. Potential links between CHSSN priorities and INSPQ programs must be verified prior to determining operating and funding procedures within the project submitted to the CHSSN.

The second approach consists of conducting specific studies and analyses beyond the INSPQ’s program. In this case the INSPQ is mandated to undertake work in which it will be responsible for finding experts, supporting them throughout the process and ensuring contact with the CHSSN implementation team. The mandate conferred on the INSPQ falls within the Official Languages Health Contribution Program implementation process agreed upon by the CHSSN and the MSSS in June 2009. Funding will be provided to the CHSSN from Health Canada funds, while respecting Quebec’s jurisdiction in the area of health and social services, and ensuring that the project complies with Quebec’s health policies and orientations.

A tripartite committee of the INSPQ, the MSSS and the CHSSN has been created to oversee project supervision, the studies and analyses to be given priority, and the deliverables.

This project will be carried out over a four-year period and contains plans that are based on the current state of knowledge. The documentation accumulated along the way will enable the identification of certain avenues to be validated by the tripartite committee, the CHSSN and its partners, and targeted experts. This process will make it possible to specify work to be undertaken as part of the priority to analyze and evaluate the adaptation of health and social