uOttawa and Montfort Hospital join forces to improve access to health care in French

Better healthcare
Research and innovation
Faculty of Medicine
Group of people in a meeting
More than ever, access to health care in French is a challenge for francophone minorities in Canada. Less than 1% of health-care professionals regularly speak French as part of their practice, according to a 2021 Statistics Canada study on language use in health care. Many francophones must therefore use their English to access health care.

In light of this situation, which is becoming more pronounced, the University of Ottawa and the Institut du Savoir Montfort, which share the goal of advancing health-care research, particularly in French, are joining forces to find possible solutions.

“By bringing together the expertise of two leading francophone research institutions in Canada, we hope to create a better synergy for health-care research and the various communities of practice. We can thus find innovative solutions to societal issues,” says Martine Lagacé, associate vice-president, research promotion and development, at the University of Ottawa.

The University and Montfort have created a working group on health care and science in French, which will also be mandated to make recommendations to increase collaboration between the two institutions. By coming together and better co-ordinating French-language health-care research, they hope to improve the access to, and quality of, care offered to francophone minorities.

French-language health-care research

“Health care is a topic that cuts across University faculties. This group, made up of clinicians and researchers, will allow us to have an overview of the issues affecting French-language health-care research, considering language as a major determinant of health,” says Estelle Ethier, Institut du Savoir Montfort CEO.

The joint working group will be made up of members from different uOttawa faculties as well as the Institut du Savoir Montfort. The experts will first have to define a shared vision of the scope of and support for French-language health-care research. The group will then attempt to determine strategies to facilitate research collaboration between the institute and the various uOttawa faculties.

It will then make recommendations to encourage decision-makers, in particular, the federal government, to implement concrete measures to improve access to health care in French outside Quebec.

The group has set a target of spring of this year to report on its work.

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