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Francophone community health centre increases access to primary care

June 15, 2024 at 11:32 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

More people in B.C. will receive primary health care with the opening of British Columbia’s first dedicated francophone community health centre.

“As our province welcomes more newcomers from French-language speaking countries and other Canadian jurisdictions, demand for patient-centred care also increases,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs. “That’s why we’re taking significant actions to strengthen primary care across the province, including establishing the province’s first community health centre that offers primary care services in French.”

Scheduled to open in October 2024 at 2025 West Broadway, the centre will be operated by RésoSanté Colombie-Britannique (RésoSanté). Currently, only the Vancouver Urban Health Centre offers bilingual French/English primary care and it cannot serve the needs of the Lower Mainland’s growing French-speaking community.

“Providing health services for the region’s French-speaking people can help improve not only their care, but also their health-care experience,” said Bob Chapman, vice-president of Vancouver community, Vancouver Coastal Health. “When people can communicate effectively with their medical team, it’s easier to build an optimal treatment plan and establish personal connections, all of which contribute to positive, relationship-based care.”

With all patient-facing staff speaking fluent French and English, the centre will help French-speaking people get inclusive, culturally appropriate primary care and better preventative and continuity of care. The team-based care will be offered by family doctors, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers and other staff. Once fully staffed, it will be home to 14.5 full-time equivalent health-care providers. The clinic is expected to connect 4,400 people to longitudinal primary care by 2029.

The francophone community health centre is a partnership between RésoSanté and the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Vancouver Coastal Health. It will be part of the Vancouver Primary Care Network. The Province is providing $1.3 million in one-time funding for the centre and nearly $2.7 million in ongoing operating funding.

“This is an historic moment for all francophones in British Columbia,” said Dr. Brian Conway, chair of the RésoSanté board. “We are proud to have collaborated with Minister Dix, the Ministry of Health and Vancouver Coastal Health to bring the francophone community health centre to reality. This centre will ensure that anyone who wishes to access health-care services in French will be able to do so in a timely manner and in a culturally safe environment.”

Since 2018-19, the Province has invested more than $692 million to support team-based primary care in family practice clinics, urgent primary care centres, community health centres, nurse practitioner clinics and First Nations primary care clinics.

Quick Facts:

  • More than 328,000 people in British Columbia (6.6% of B.C.’s population) can conduct a conversation in French.
  • As of 2021, there were more than 80,000 people who had French as their mother tongue in B.C., with more than half of that population living in the Lower Mainland.
  • The municipalities that had the highest number of people who know French were in the Vancouver census metropolitan area: Vancouver (61,400); Surrey (22,000); and Burnaby (12,135).

Learn More:

To access French-language health resources, visit: http://www.phsa.ca/our-services/programs-services/provincial-language-services/services-francophones/francophone-services#Services–in–French

To learn more about the Province’s primary health-care strategy, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0034-001010

To learn more about RésoSanté, visit: https://resosante.ca/

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