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Quebec’s health minister tables Bill 10 amendments

Quebec’s Health Minister has tabled amendments to his controversial Bill 10.

The bill aims to merge boards of directors of healthcare institutions across the province to save at least $220 million.

Health Minister Gaétan Barrette said Monday he is convinced his amendments will satisfy the English-speaking community.

Barrette explained he has put four additional “protections” in the bill.

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Dozens of anglo organizations team up to say no to healthcare reform

The battle against Bill 10 is intensifying as dozens of groups are uniting to speak out against the proposed healthcare reform legislation.

More than three dozen groups, including community organizations and school boards argue Bill 10 could have a devastating impact on English-speaking communities and the bilingual status of health institutions.

Bill 10 will revamp healthcare throughout Quebec by merging boards and slashing the number of administrators and managers.

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Policy shift riles English advocates: Health insurance board switches from bilingual to ‘en français’ at service centre

QUEBEC – Quebecers will face a French comprehension test before being served in English at the provincial health insurance board, which recently switched its communication policy from bilingual to “en français” at its customer service centre.

The move by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) to revise its communications to comply with Bill 101, the province’s French-first language policy, worries minority-rights advocates.

In the wake of five complaints related to RAMQ’s language restrictions, a provincial English-language advocacy group says the policy will hurt patients seeking crucial health information, for example about medical therapies, psychiatric treatments or specific drug coverage for cancer and other illnesses.

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Difficile d’être servi en anglais à la RAMQ

La Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec a une politique qui favorise à tout prix le français dans les communications avec sa clientèle. Au détriment de la sécurité des citoyens, selon certains groupes sociaux. La Presse dresse le portrait de pratiques qualifiées «d’intimidantes», par des anglophones de Montréal.
Lorsque Jasmine Papillon-Smith a appelé la Régie de l’assurance maladie (RAMQ) cette semaine, elle a été choquée du message d’accueil qu’elle a reçu. «La Régie vous informe qu’elle communique d’abord en français avec sa clientèle.» Un message qu’elle n’hésite pas à qualifier de tentative d’intimidation.
«Ça m’a frappée, c’était vraiment impoli. J’ai eu l’impression qu’on me disait que même si je suis malade, puisque je suis anglophone, je devrais attendre, qu’on ne veut pas me parler. C’est vraiment déplacé, insultant venant de la RAMQ qui offre des services essentiels», a souligné la jeune femme de 21 ans, étudiante à l’Université Concordia.
Depuis janvier 2012, la RAMQ a adopté une nouvelle politique linguistique en matière de service à la clientèle.
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The Health and Social Service Priorities of Quebec’s English-Speaking Population 2013-2018

A discussion document based on a consultation of Quebec’s English-speaking population that included 32 focus groups that captured the voices English-speaking people sharing their experiences with the health and social services network and their needs in the future. The document was used to present four priorities for a renewed federal investment in the health of English-speaking communities for the period 2013 to 2018.

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Keep centre bilingual: lobby

Rehab facility’s status concerns anglo group

The Gazette, Philip Authier

A Montreal rehabilitation centre should be allowed to retain its bilingual status even if it does not have the required numbers under the law, a group representing English-speakers across Quebec says.

“If they were being generous about an institution that already had status, why would they not continue to give the new institution status?” said Sylvia Martin-Laforge, executive director of the Quebec Community Groups Network. Read more…