All across Canada, minority language communities face language barriers in the health care system, which can impact access to care, quality of care and thus entail safety issues for patients.

The impact of language barriers on health systems

Evidence consistently shows that patients facing language barriers in health care do not receive the same quality of service and are more likely to encounter safety issues. Not being able to communicate effectively because of a language barrier can create misunderstandings and thus lead to medical errors or significant omissions.

Even Francophones who generally function well in English can often benefit and achieve better health outcomes from receiving services in their preferred language. This is especially true in emergency or crisis situations.

Simply providing services in French can help to eradicate these health care gaps.

Promoting equity of access to health services: eQUITY Link

Société Santé en français (SSF) and the French Language Health Networks have a number of resources to support health care organizations and professionals to better understand the Francophone and/or Acadian population in their area, learn how to address linguistic health, social services and/or community service issues, and implement proven solutions.

The SSF has gathered evidence-based learning tools into a single easy-to-navigate platform called eQUITY Link.

Official Recognition

By following the process described in eQUITY Link and taking advantage of the tools provided, organizations will be better able to meet the criteria set out in the Access to Health and Social Services in Official Languages standard and submit an application to Accreditation Canada’s Recognition Program.

Are you ready to:

  • Improve the quality of services offered to the Francophone and/or Acadian population of your region?
  • Involve the right people at the right time and collaborate with key stakeholders?
  • Benefit from the support of the necessary experts and resources to facilitate implementation of French language health, social and/or community services?
  • Develop processes that may also improve service quality for other minority populations?

If your answer to these questions is yes, eQUITY Link and its support team are at your service to guide you through this process. 

Please consult our resources or submit a request for support to help you in implementing your French language health services improvement initiative.

Advancing Health Equity and Accessibility

Are You Ready to Start Learning?

Recommended Online Tutorial

eQUITY Fundamentals

6 module(s)
3.5 H

This guide is intended to support managers in the planning, implementation and evaluation of French language services in their health, social services and/or community organizations. Any organization can benefit from this resource and use it to assess the status of its French-language services offer, identify its next steps through recommended strategies and develop a personalized action plan.

This resource is easily adapted and integrated into any level of progress in the implementation of the French language service offer, supported by strategies, practical advice and proven resources.

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Resource by topic:

Health Human Resources Strategy

9 module(s)
3:15 H

The concepts and courses of action presented here are aimed at increasing French language health services across Canada. This online resource provides a framework for recruitment and retention of bilingual human resources in the context of health services for a minority population.

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Logic Model Guide

3 module(s)
0.5 hr

Quick guide for organizations to develop logic models that support monitoring and evaluation initiatives.

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The Active Offer of French Language Health Services

6 module(s)
5 H

This training course aims to raise awareness of individuals who work or study in the field of health care to the importance of the active offer of French language health services, promotes the important role individuals can play in ensuring ongoing improvement of the active offer of French language health services and supports a safe environment and provision of quality care for patients and clients.

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