Canada Supports Initiative Of French-Speaking Health Professionals

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The Government of Canada will provide further support for Francophone students pursuing post-secondary educational opportunities in the health care field. As a result, more Francophones across Canada will have greater access to health services in the language of their choice.

This announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, by Dr. Colin Carrie, Parliamentary Secretary, and New Brunswick Senator Percy Mockler.

The Consortium national de formation en sante will use the funding to encourage Francophone students who reside outside of Quebec to pursue health-related post-secondary studies. This will help increase the number of health care professionals available to serve French-speaking minority communities.

"The funding provided for francophone students today will result in more French-speaking health professionals in Canada tomorrow," said Dr. Carrie. "We will continue to work with the provinces and other stakeholders to address the linguistic needs of Francophone minority communities across the country."

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The $4 million in federal support will help the Consortium strengthen its promotion and recruitment efforts, expand the scope of distance learning, strengthen clinical training for students through the purchase of new medical equipment, and strengthen continuous learning and teaching recruits.

"I am very pleased with Health Canada's continued investments in the retention, training and development of health professionals for official language minority communities and for facilitating service delivery in Francophone minority communities," says Yvon Fontaine, Co-Chair of the Consortium national de formation en sante and president of the Universite de Moncton.

The Consortium national de formation en sante is an umbrella organization representing 11 different universities and colleges outside of Quebec that offer French study in various health disciplines. The objective of the alliance is to increase the number of health professionals and researchers in Canada who can serve the linguistic needs of French speaking minority communities across the country.

The institutions which make up the Consortium include: l'Universite de Moncton (NB), College communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick - Campbellton (NB), Universite Sainte-Anne (NS), College Acadie (PEI), College universitaire de Saint-Boniface (MB), Faculte Saint-Jean (AB), University of Ottawa (ON), Laurentian University (ON), Cite collegiale (ON), College Boreal (ON) and the Government of New Brunswick with institutions participating in the Quebec-New Brunswick health training agreement.

The funding for today's announcement was provided through the Official Languages Health Contribution Program. Under the 2008-2013 Roadmap for Linguistic Duality, our Government will continue to work in collaboration with the provinces and territories and official language minority communities to further improve access to health services. We will continue the training and retention of health care professionals, support community networks and new local projects to improve access to health services in the minority language.

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