CASA REACTS TO DEMAND THAT GASPÉ HOSPITAL (HOTEL-DIEU) ELIMINATE ENGLISH SIGNS
NEW CARLISLE, November 6, 2015 – CASA is concerned that a recent order by the Office Québécois de la language française (OQLF) that the Hotel Dieu in Gaspé remove English on directional signs will have a negative impact on English-speaking seniors and others seeking medical services at the hospital.
Over the last 10 years the Hotel Dieu in Gaspé, in partnership with Vision Gaspé-Percé Now, has worked to improve access to services for patients and their families. This has been greatly appreciated by unilingual Anglophones as well as bilingual Anglophones who do not consider themselves fluent enough to interact in French when it comes to dealing with health issues in a hospital environment.
Anglophones throughout the Gaspésie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine region have repeatedly expressed the importance of receiving written information to orient themselves in a hospital setting – most recently via a needs’ assessment in 2014-15. Focus Groups also underlined their appreciation for such initiatives as Mellow Yellow, where staff members are given the option to have a yellow stripe on their identification badges to indicate to patients that they are able to speak English.
CASA was established in 1975 to meet the challenges that the English-speaking population residing on the Gaspé Peninsula face. One of these challenges is access to health and social services in English.
CASA agrees with Eric Maldoff, chairman of the Quebec Community Groups Network’s Health and Social Services Committee who told the National Post (November 6, 2015), that the government should reign in the OQLF. “The provincial government should regulate to make it clear that access to service means access to information too, and signs happen to be a way that people get information,” he said.
CASA commends health care institutions for its efforts to improve access to services for Anglophone patients and asks the provincial government to assist the OQLF in reconsidering its removal order.
For more information, please contact:
Cathy Brown, Executive Director, (418) 752-5995
Stella Kennedy, President Board of Directors, (418) 368-6425