CBC (May 31) Francophones encouraged to ask for health services in French

Receiving health services in preferred language can provide benefits

The P.E.I. health system is prepared in many cases to provide service in French, and Francophones are being encouraged to ask for that more often.

Collège de l'Île is part of a national campaign to encourage Canadians whose first language is French to ask for help in French. College president Donald DesRoches said trying to communicate in English can lead to problems.

"Oftentimes when we're under stress we're not as clear as we would normally be," said DesRoches.

"So we're encouraging people to make the request for services in French because we know that there is capacity within the system to answer that request."

Apart from clearer communication, DesRoches said there can be clear physical benefits.

"It may bring their heart rate down," he said.

"There are kind of physical indicators that there's actually a value to the health care that's provided when you're in a more comfortable environment."

The college trains licensed practical nurses and resident care workers in French to work.

DesRoches is also encouraging people to put their preferred language on their health cards when they come up for renewal. He said that, and requesting services in French, will give better data to the health system on how many people need French services.


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