McGuinty Government Recognizes the Importance of French Language Health Services



    New Advisory Council Established To Provide Advice To The Minister

    OTTAWA, Nov. 26 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is creating a new
advisory council on health care issues facing the province's Francophone
community, Deputy Premier and Health and Long-Term Care Minister George
Smitherman and Madeleine Meilleur, Minister Responsible for Francophone
Affairs, announced today.
    "Our pledge to improve health services by providing more family care and
lower emergency room wait times must include French language services." said
Smitherman. "Through this advisory council we are reaching out to Francophone
communities because we believe health care in Ontario should be guided by a
commitment to equity and respect for diversity."
    "We want to ensure that Francophones have access to health services in
French within their own communities," said Madeleine Meilleur, Minister
Responsible for Francophone Affairs. "That's why we are establishing a special
advisory council that will focus all of its energy on ensuring that the health
care needs of Francophone Ontarians are met."
    The French Language Health Services Advisory Council is mandated under
the Local Health System Integration Act (LHSIA). The council will provide
advice to the Minister about health and service delivery issues related to
Francophone communities, and the ongoing development of policies and
strategies that contribute towards helping Franco-Ontarians access, in French,
the care they need.
    The Council will receive financial and administrative support from the
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
    "I look forward to representing the Francophone community," said  M.
Jean-Gilles Pelletier, newly named Chair. "The members of the committee come
from all regions of Ontario. We will work together to provide informed advice
towards the ongoing development of provincial health care policies and
strategies."
    Today's initiative is part of the McGuinty government's plan for
innovation in public health care, building a system that delivers on three
priorities - keeping Ontarians healthy, reducing wait times and providing
better access to doctors and nurses.

    This news release, along with other media materials, such as matte
stories and audio clips, on other subjects, are available on our website at:
http://www.health.gov.on.ca under the News Media section.

    For more information on achievements in health care, visit:
www.resultsontario.gov.on.ca.

    Disponible en français.


    
    Backgrounder

               FRENCH LANGUAGE HEALTH SERVICES ADVISORY COUNCIL

    The Local Health System Integration Act (LHSIA) requires the Minister of
Health and Long-Term Care to establish a French Language Health Services
Advisory Council to advise the Minister on health and services delivery issues
related to Francophone communities.
    Associations named in the LHSIA regulation pertaining to the Council were
asked to provide names of potential nominees for the Council. The final
selection of members was made by the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
    The French Language Health Services Advisory Council will be chaired by
Jean-Gilles Pelletier. M. Pelletier represents le Groupe Francophone de
l'Association des centres de santé de l'Ontario (Group of Francophone
Community Health Centres of the Association of Ontario Health Centres).
    The other newly appointed members of the Council are:
    -   M. Marc Bédard; M. Gérald Savoie; Mme Carmen Gauthier; Mme Nicole
        Lafrenière-Davis; M. Jean-Yves Lalonde; Dre Solange Mbamou; and Mme
        Nicole Ranger

    Organizations represented on the Council include :
    -   l'Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario (AFO) - Association of
        Francophone Ontarians; la Fédération des aînés et des retraités
        francophones de l'Ontario (FAFO) - Association of Ontario Francophone
        Seniors; l'Alliance des réseaux ontariens de santé en français
        (AROSF) - Alliance of Francophone Health Networks; l'Association
        française des municipalités de l'Ontario (AFMO) - French Association
        of Ontario Municipalities; l'Union Provinciale des Minorités Raciales
        et Ethnoculturelles Francophones de l'Ontario (UP-MREF) - Provincial
        Organization of Racial and Ethnocultural Francophone Minorities of
        Ontario; and le Regroupement des intervenantes et intervenants
        francophones en santé et en services sociaux de l'Ontario (RIFSSSO) -
        Group of Health and Social Services Professionals.

    Disponible en français.

                             www.health.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Laurel Ostfield, Minister's
Office, (416) 212-4048; David Jensen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,
(416) 314-6197; Members of the general public: (416) 327-4327, or
1-866-532-3161

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Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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