Removing barriers to accessing quality health services in both official languages
CALGARY, March 27, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, Joan Crockatt, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced federal funding of $600,000 to improve access to health services for French-speaking communities in Calgary, Alberta.
The funding is being provided to the Association canadienne-française de l'Alberta régionale de Calgary to open a new medical clinic in the city that will increase the delivery of primary healthcare services to Calgary's French-speaking communities. As part of the project, the Association will develop internship positions and establish a network for health professionals wishing to offer care in French. A recruitment strategy will also be implemented for the creation of future healthcare positions in French. This will lead to better access to Francophone health professionals and safer, higher quality care for more than 21,000 Francophone residents and thousands more newly arrived French-speaking immigrants to the city.
This federal investment is part of the $2.3 million announced by the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, on behalf of Health Minister Rona Ambrose, earlier today. It is supporting six projects, including today's project, in key centres across the country for new local projects to improve access to health services for French-speaking minority communities outside of Quebec. Last year, the federal government invested $112.9 million to support 14 initiatives across the country for the training and integration of more bilingual healthcare professionals in French and English minority communities.
- Federal support for these projects comes from the Government's Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013–2018: Education, Immigration, Communities. With this $1.1 billion investment, the Government of Canada is maintaining its commitment to promote and support both official languages across the country, and ensure a healthcare system that is responsive to the needs of all Canadians.
- Health Canada's Official Languages Health Contribution Program is part of Roadmap 2013–2018. The program supports community-based organizations and academic institutions to improve access to health services for English-speaking communities in Quebec and French-speaking communities outside of Quebec.
- Through the Roadmap, Health Canada is investing more than $13 million over five years to respond to emerging needs of official language minority communities and improve the integration of health human resources in those communities across Canada.
- According to Census 2011, there are over one million English-speaking residents of Quebec, and over a million French-speaking Canadians outside of Quebec, which represents 6% of the Canadian population combined.
- French is the mother tongue of approximately 81,085 Albertans. According to the 2011 Census, Alberta's Francophone population is growing faster than any French-speaking population in Canada. The Francophone population grew by approximately 18% since 2006.
"I am extremely pleased that Calgary's French-speaking families, and the city as a whole, will benefit from this significant health care project. It will provide our Francophone minority communities with better access to much needed French-Language health services closer to home. This will go a long way towards better meeting the needs of French-speaking residents now, and improving the health and vitality of these communities in the future."
Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre
"Access to necessary health services is a concern for every Canadian. That is why our Government is acting to remove the barriers certain communities may face to accessing quality care in the official language of their choice. Today's investment further strengthens Canada's healthcare system by increasing the number of bilingual providers and giving patients easier and better access to the care they need, in their local communities. Together with key partners and stakeholders, we are working to so that Canadians, no matter where they live, can use our two official languages when accessing health services across the country."
Minister of Health
"The contribution from Health Canada is arriving at the right time and will ensure the development of a community clinic for active offer of French-language health services. It brings the Francophone community of Calgary the necessary means and resources for launching a process to develop absent services."
Association canadienne-française de l'Alberta régionale de Calgary
Health Canada news releases are available on the Internet at: www.healthcanada.gc.ca/media.
SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Health Canada, Media Relations :(613) 957-2983; Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709