Official Language Health Program

The Official Languages Health Program (OLHP), launched in 2003, aims to improve access to health services for official language minority communities (OLMCs).

The OLHP received funding under the government-wide Action Plan for Official Languages - 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future. The program includes the following three mutually reinforcing components:

1 - Training and Retention of Health Professionals

Health Canada provides support to postsecondary training institutions in order to improve the availability of bilingual health service providers across the country and specifically in regions where the needs of OLMCs are greatest.

  • The Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS), which includes a national secretariat and 16 postsecondary member-institutions outside Quebec, offers over 100 French-language health programs in eight provinces and works with health facilities to offer internships and placements for its students.
  • McGill University offers language training to health providers currently employed in Quebec's health care system, as well as bursaries and internships for integrating health professionals in regions where there is significant need for English-language health services.

2 - Health Networking

Health networks work with various partners (communities, decision-makers, health managers, health professionals, and post-secondary institutions) to develop concrete solutions to improve access to health services for OLMCs. Targeted recipients for this component are:

3 - Health services access projects

Projects under the current funding phase will use innovative approaches to improve access to health services OLMCs.

  • SSF and CHSSN provide funding to promote innovative solutions under the following components: integration of health human resources; knowledge development and dissemination (including activities and tools for data collection, needs assessments and research); and improving community health (through increased access to health services).
  • Health Canada launched a call for proposals in winter 2019 to support stakeholders, such as not-for-profit organisations, provinces and territories in the areas of home and community care, mental health and addictions services, palliative care and end-of-life care. This process is now closed.
  • As a pilot project during the current funding phase, micro-grants of up to $1000 each will be offered to small not-for-profit organisations and individuals to increase access to health services within OLMCs. This process is now open.

For more information or documentation, please contact the OLCDB at: hc.olcdb-baclo.sc@canada.ca.

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