December 7, 2023
7 December 2023
A woman in Northern Ontario went to the emergency room of a designated hospital and was greeted by an employee who asked her COVID-19 screening questions in English only.
A woman in Northern Ontario went to the emergency room of a designated hospital and was greeted by an employee who asked her COVID-19 screening questions in English only. Then, at intake, she could not access services in French. She told us that when she asked a nurse if he spoke French, it “really caused a scene.” We talked to the hospital’s Department of Patient Relations.
RESULT: As a result of our intervention, the hospital’s emergency services reviewed the patient’s file and:
Reminded emergency employees of the protocol for patients who identify as Francophones;
Referred members of the public to the nearby call intake service, where there are always bilingual employees if no bilingual screening staff are present;
Posted communications regarding COVID screening in English and French at all points of entry; and
Had the Department of Human Resources review the French service requirements to include individual responsibilities in employee onboarding sessions, even for non-bilingual employees.
Learn more about the French Language Services Unit which answers questions and takes complaints about services in French.
Read about how we helped other people in our Selected cases.