Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 20(4) January 2018 : 24-30.doi:10.12927/hcq.2018.25427
Organizational Culture

Success Strategies for Linguistically Competent Healthcare: The Magic Bullets and Cautionary Tales of the Active Offer of French-Language Health Services in Ontario

Elina Farmanova, Louise Bouchard and Luc Bonneville


An active offer of French-language health services (FLHS) was introduced in several Canadian provinces to help create an environment that will anticipate the needs of Francophones in their community and will stimulate the demand for services in French. For the active offer to be implemented, changes in how health services are organized and managed at both organizational and system levels must be introduced. In this perspective paper, we identify several success strategies and potential pitfalls with regards to the implementation of the active offer of FLHS primarily at the level of healthcare organization. Our recommendations are based on a recent health services research study exploring reorganization and management strategies for the delivery of the active offer of FLHS in Ontario and insights from a focus group with healthcare administrators conducted as part of this research. We propose a "wrap-around strategy" called organizational health literacy to help reorient organizational culture and improve management and sustainability of the active offer of FLHS. These strategies have relevance for advocates and professionals working to promote an active offer of FLHS, including healthcare administrators, human resource professionals, quality-improvement specialists and others.



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