The Réseau des services de santé en français de l’Est de l’Ontario and the Renfrew Victoria Hospital (RVH) have announced that they will be offering select services in French at their satellite location in Pembroke. The hospital obtained a partial designation under the Ontario French Language Services Act, which means that they are able to offer dialysis and addiction treatment services en français at their satellite site in Pembroke.
Jacinthe Desaulniers, the president and director general of the Réseau, called the change “excellent news” and explained that RVH was identified 20 years ago as needing to provide these services to the francophone community.
The process of designation is lengthy and can only be applied in areas that have either: more than 10% francophones in their population (rural) or more than 5,000 French-speakers in an urban area. In Renfrew County, the City of Pembroke and the townships of Stafford and Westmeath are the only jurisdictions that qualify.
Desaulniers explained that the process takes time because they have to work with the hospital to ensure that the organization is set up and staffed adequately to offer this service regularly. Under the law, health care providers must meet 34 requirements that ensure they have the capacity to adequately offer French-language services on a permanent basis.
Desaulniers said that they narrowed in on dialysis and nephrology as well as addiction treatment because they are services that require lots of communication and many recurring visits. This means that it’s very important that patients be as comfortable as possible in their communication with staff. She added that they were hoping to add sexual abuse treatment in the future as well.
The full interview with Desaulniers is available here.