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Better access... in their language

The McGill Training and Retention of Health Professionals Project contributes to Quebec’s initiatives to ensuring English-speaking Quebecers have access to the full range of health and social services in their own language through measures designed to build and maintain a sufficient complement of health and social services personnel capable of providing services in English. The project is an additional tool to support the implementation and enhancement of regional programs of access to health and social services in English as provided for in the Act respecting health and social services.

The objectives are to ensure English-speaking people receive effective communication in their language from the health and social services professionals serving their needs and to increase the number of English-speaking professionals working in the health and social services system.

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Over a four-year period, three measures are being implemented:

Measure 1:

The McGill Language Training Program which aims to provide English for professional purposes to ensure that French-speaking health and social services personnel have opportunities to improve their ability to provide services in English to their English-speaking clients in the regions of Quebec, and French for professional purposes for English-speaking personnel in order for them to better integrate into the Quebec health and social services system.

Measure 2:

The McGill Retention and Distance Professional and Community Support Program which seeks to ensure effective communication in English between English-speaking Quebecers and the health and social service workers who serve their needs and to increase the participation of English-speaking personnel in Quebec's health and social service system.

Measure 3:

The McGill Research Program which is designed to build upon the knowledge gained through the work conducted in the first phase of the McGill Project, to develop new research projects which investigate potential means to overcome identified barriers to health care access for linguistic minorities, and to increase the dissemination and adoption of knowledge, strategies and best practices to address the health concerns of minority language communities.


A global budget of $19M over a four-year period is required to carry out the three measures. An envelope of $7.2M was allocated for some 8000 enrollments in English for professional purposes classes for French-speaking personnel and one of $1.328M for 1050 enrollments in French for professional purposes for English-speaking personnel. The Retention Program received $3.626M, the Distance Community Support Program $342,000 and $1.131M was awarded to the Research Program. The proposal is directed mainly to the period between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2013. For the first fiscal year 2008-2009 which was considered an extension of the initial Contribution Program, the McGill Project received $4M.

Built on the strength of the 2005-2009 Project and the recommendations stemming from the evaluation conducted in 2008 and stakeholder consultations, the 2009-2013 Project is strategically designed and outcome focused. It is rooted in the needs identified by both the English-speaking community and the health and social services network, and it relies on both the good will of the personnel to improve their communication skills and the commitment of the institutions to adapt their services to the English-speaking people. It has the support of the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) and the English-speaking community, and already counts among its partners some 130 public and private stakeholders.