Frequently Asked Questions

Access to health services in their mother tongue is a key factor to improve patients’ health conditions and encourage them to take better care of themselves. Many studies confirm the importance of language for effective care and prevention. Culture (including language) is one of the 12 recognized determinants of health.

Access to health services in one’s mother tongue is a key factor in improving a patients’ health conditions and encouraging them to take better care of themselves. Many studies confirm the importance of language for effective care and prevention. Culture (including language) is one of the 12 recognized determinants of health.

Research shows that the provision of health services in a language other than the mother tongue is an obstacle to maintaining and improving the health status of minority communities.

When health services are not available in the patient’s mother tongue, the consultation times are longer, there are more medical tests, there is a greater likelihood of misdiagnosis and treatment errors, and the patient is more likely to fail to comply with their treatment.

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The Francophone community of Ontario is a linguistic minority within the larger Ontario and Canadian society. This minority situation influences its experience of the Ontario healthcare system where it often does not have access to the same quality of care as English speakers.

Experience has shown that Francophones do not always request services in French, even if the provider has put these services in place. The weak sense of belonging of Francophones in Ontario partly explains this phenomenon of disengagement and assimilation, which is intimately linked to the minority situation of Francophones in Ontario.

With regards to its sense of belonging, the diversity of the Francophone community in Ontario adds to the difficulty of the minority situation. French speakers in Ontario share the French language, but for the rest, the Franco-Ontarian community is characterized by diversity of ethnicity, religion, origin, education, culture, income, values and experience, among others.

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The French Language Services Act (R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER F.32) guarantees the provision and the right to French language services in Ontario. In particular, it stipulates that the Government of Ontario is responsible for providing services in French. It also prescribes the right to speak one or other of the official languages ​​during parliamentary debates.
The Act guarantees the right to speak in French to a provincial administration or to a provider who provides services on behalf of the provincial government (Service Ontario locations, for example) and it guarantees the right to receive services in this language, in one of the 26 designated regions.

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To obtain its designation, a region must have at least 10% Francophones, or at least 5,000 Francophones in urban centers.

In Entité 3’s catchment area, only the municipalities of Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton are designated. Oakville, Orangeville, Caledon and Shelburne are not located in designated regions.

The French Language Services Act does not require all health care institutions to provide health services in French. Only establishments that have obtained formal designation are required to offer services in French. Those who are identified must provide minimal support and will not be obliged to offer services in French until they have obtained the status of designated establishment.

A planning entity is an organization appointed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to identify the needs and priorities of the Francophone community in order to make recommendations to Ontario Health (or to local health integration networks (LHIN) until recently) on all health issues that affect the Francophone community in a given region.

The appointed organization may undertake other mandates in the health field. It can be entrusted with various missions and may apply for and receive funding from different donors.

The Ministry has designated six (6) planning entities in Ontario. Each entity has the mandate to advise a region of Ontario Health (or two or three LHINs until recently). The entities are funded by the Ministry of Health.

Entité 3 regularly issues recommendation reports to Ontario Health (and most recently to the three LHINs we work with). These recommendations aim at improving health services for the Francophone population of the Greater Toronto Area and are as focused as possible.

There are three categories of recommendations:

  • The development and implementation of an approach appropriate to the situation of Francophones in our territory (such as the expansion of the active offer of health services in French).
  • Improvements to existing services (e.g. inclusion of a French-language lens, such as a TeleCheck service in French for people at home who use this technological tool to obtain their medical follow-up).
  • The implementation of new ideas, initiatives or projects which meet the needs that we have identified in the community (e.g. setting up a round table to study the development of training on “Positive spaces” for LGBTQ people in Francophone organizations in the Greater Toronto Area that offer health services.)

Organizations offering public services can be identified by the Ministries of Health and Long-Term Care. These organizations have an obligation to provide minimal support, such as interpretation services and cultural skills training to their employees, in order to guarantee the quality of the services provided in French. An identified organization is an organization that may be on its way to a possible designation.

A designation is a legal recognition by the Government of Ontario of an organization’s ability to provide services in French. Designated organizations are required to offer services in French on the same basis as ministries or agencies.

To be designated, an organization must meet the following conditions:

  • offer quality services in French on a permanent basis;
  • guarantee the accessibility of its services in French;
  • have Francophone members on the board of directors and on the management team of its organization;
  • develop a written French language services policy adopted by the board of directors and define the organization’s responsibilities for French language services.

The designation can be total (for the entire organization) or partial (for a specific service or program). Read detailed information on the designation process.

The Ontario government decided in 2019 to reform the health care system. The People’s Health Care Act, 2019 was assented to on April 18, 2019, and it creates the agency Ontario Health, whose mission will be, among other things, to implement the health system strategies that the ministry is developing. The objective of this reform is to create a new model for the delivery of integrated health care that will put each patient at the center of an interconnected care system. To do this, Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) are going to be established across Ontario. With OHTs, health care providers (including hospitals, doctors, home and community care providers) will work as coordinated teams – no matter where they provide their care. These OHTs can organize themselves as they wish and can be led by hospitals.

Yes, Reflet Salvéo and Entité 3 are the same organization. The 6 entities created in 2010 were numbered, and our organization was then called Entité 3. Shortly after its creation, Entité 3 adopted the name of Reflet Salvéo. Due to recent changes in the health care system, Reflet Salvéo has returned to its original name: Entité 3.

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