Official Languages 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 bilingual 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:
- The Société Santé en français (SSF), with its 16 networks across all provinces and territories (except Quebec) for French-speaking minority communities.
- The Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN), with its 23 networks across Quebec for English-speaking minority communities.
3 - Health services access projects
Projects under the current funding phase use innovative approaches to improve access to health services OLMCs.
- SSF and CHSSN support projects 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 were offered to small not-for-profit organisations and individuals to increase access to health services within OLMCs. This process is now closed.
For more information or documentation, please contact the OLCDB at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consultation on the renewal of the OLHP
A consultation intended to solicit responses from members of OLMCs took place from January 20 to February 25, 2022 inclusively. Results of the consultation are shared here: Consultation on the renewal of the Official Languages Health Program 2023-2028.
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