Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for January 29, 2014

Services in French expanded in health care

Francophone Yukoners will have a bit of an easier time accessing health care in their native tongue with the implementation of three French language pilot projects.

By Ainslie Cruickshank on January 29, 2014 at 5:11 pm

photo

Photo by Whitehorse Star

Elaine Taylor and Doug Graham

Francophone Yukoners will have a bit of an easier time accessing health care in their native tongue with the implementation of three French language pilot projects.

Frontline services are now offered in both of Canada’s official languages at the Specialists’ Clinic at the Whitehorse General Hospital, Insured Health Services, and Homecare Services.

Clients who visit each of these locations will be greeted in both French and English and will have access to bilingual signage, forms and publications.

In the event a French-speaking staff member or health care provider is unavailable, francophone clients will have access to telephone interpretation services, provided by the California-based company Language Line Services.

The third component of the pilot projects, announced in March, is the development of regulations for identifying and staffing bilingual positions within the government.

Those regulations are expected to be released this spring, said Elaine Taylor, the minister responsible for the French Language Services Directorate, during the announcement of the French-language services yesterday at the hospital cafeteria.

“This project launch really constitutes a watershed moment I would say, a very important milestone in our engagement with the francophone community,” Taylor said.

“We hope to learn a great deal from each of these projects and all of which will serve as a reference for the expansion of further services in the Government of Yukon and that will be based on the input provided by the francophone community.”

This week the government also released a bilingual health booklet that provides translations of the most common words and expressions used in health care.

The booklet will be available at doctors’ offices, health care centres, hospitals, the Francophone Health Network and online at
http://www.hss.gov.yk.ca.

Angélique Bernard, the president of L’Association franco-yukonnaise, urged local francophones to take advantage of the new pilot projects which she said “represent an important step towards the development of responsive and effective services in French.”

Jason Bilsky, the CEO of the Yukon Hospital Corporation, said the French-language services implemented at the hospital’s Specialists’ Clinic will reduce consultation time and improve safety by reducing the risk of misdiagnosis and mistreatment.

“It’s a good first step and will lead to other improvements, we’re sure of that,” he said.

His comments were echoed by Régis St-Pierre, the president of the Partenariat Communauté en Santé, an organization aimed at improving access to health care services in French.

St-Pierre agreed the pilot would provide better quality, timely, and efficient health care.

“It demonstrates that even in 2014 the pioneer spirit is still alive in the land of the midnight sun,” he said.

In March the government announced it was dedicating $289,000 to the three pilots.

Moving forward, Taylor said the government will use the lessons learned through the pilots to help in the development of a four-year strategic plan for improving French-language services within the Yukon government.

Health and Social Services Minister Doug Graham noted that the Yukon is currently Canada’s third most bilingual jurisdiction.

“I would love to see us become second,” he said.

Kate White, the NDP critic for francophone issues, was also at yesterday’s unveiling event.

She said the pilots are “fantastic,” if “decades late.”

“The current government’s been in power since 2002 and the French-language community’s just gotten bigger and bigger,” she said.

“There was a big push from the opposition in the spring of 2012 to identify that the French-language services weren’t available at the hospital and it’s fantastic to see that the three pilot projects are going ahead,” she said.

CommentsAdd a comment

Just Say'in

Jan 30, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Sure why not. We have some extra money to spend and we can import some more Bilinguals for the jobs. Oh and when I phone the main number at YTG 667-5811 and It says push 1 for English, I don’t want the introduction to be in both languages. If I have to jump through the hoops to specify English I want it that way.
The main reason most of these Francophones are here is they created these jobs to service themselves. And even though they are fluent in English they demand the service.

Just Say'in

Jan 30, 2014 at 3:22 pm

“His comments were echoed by Régis St-Pierre, the president of the Partenariat Communauté en Santé, an organization aimed at improving access to health care services in French.”

Were is the English version of this???? Why is he not translating for me?????

Michael

Jan 30, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Please!!! it’s NOT french!! it’s a bastardization of french. No real french speaking person can understand Canadian “french”

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