Travel 4 Health

A website created to support English-speaking patients from eastern regions in Quebec traveling away from home for medical services

www.travel4health.ca

Quebec City, Quebec, August 29, 2017 – Several members of the Community Health and Social Services Network have developed a website (https://www.travel4health.ca/) to provide information and support to English-speaking patients who have to travel away from home for medical services.

Patients from the eastern regions of Quebec (Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Bas-St-Laurent, Côte-Nord) must often travel to larger centres – such as Quebec City, Rimouski, Sept-Îles and elsewhere – for some specialized medical services that are unavailable in their regions.

The regional English-speaking community organizations realized that this can be a difficult experience for English speakers, some of whom are unfamiliar with these larger centres and their hospitals. They also realize that some English speakers may be not sufficiently bilingual to communicate effectively when it comes to medical vocabulary and when under stress.

In order to better document the situation, community-based action research was carried out from 2015 to 2017, through surveys, focus groups, and individual interviews. The results of this study pointed to the need for information to help patients and their loved ones prepare for their trip and to navigate the cities and their hospitals. That information has been gathered together on the website and hard-copy booklets have also been printed for organizations to hand out to those who prefer to have a paper copy. Those “toolkits” can also be downloaded from the website and printed, if desired. You can access it through Vision at this link: Travelling for Health Toolkit .

The information is organized in the following categories: preparing for your trip, local services and support (by region of departure Lower North Shore, North Shore, Lower Saint-Lawrence, Magdalen Islands, Gaspé Coast), information for each destination (by hospital and city Quebec City, Rimouski, Sept-Îles + Baie-Comeau, Chicoutimi, Chandler, Blanc-Sablon), information and advice for the stay at the hospital, information and advice before returning home, cost and refunds, and downloads.

Since this network works closely with Francophone service providers who may also benefit from this source of centralized information, the website and the booklets (“toolkits”) are available in both English and French. In addition, many patients have French-speaking family members who will be able to find the relevant information for their loved one. It is hoped that this source of information will improve the experience for “travelling 4 health” away from home for both English speakers and the general population of Quebec’s eastern regions.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact any of the following persons:

Quebec City:  Jennifer Johnson, Executive Director, CHSSN at (418) 684-2289  Ext 223 or email at jjohnson@chssn.org

New Carlisle: Cathy Brown, Executive Director, CASA (Committee for Anglophone Social Action) at (418) 752-5995 or email at casa75@globetrotter.net

Gaspé Town: Jessica Synnott, Executive Director, Vision Gaspé Percé Now, at 418-368-3212 or email j.synnott@vgpn.ca

Grosse-Ile: Helena Burke, Executive Director, CAMI (Council for Anglophone Magdalen Islanders) at (418) 985-2116 ext.#1 helena@micami.ca

Baie-Comeau: Jody Lessard,, Executive Director,  North Shore Community Association (NSCA) at (418) 296-1545 or email at  nsca@quebecnorthshore.org

Saint Paul’s River: Kim Buffitt, Director of Programing, Coaster’s Association, at (418) 379-2006 or email at hssnpi@globetrotter.net

Métis-sur-mer: Melanie Leblanc, Executive Director, Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence (HLSL) at (418) 936-3239 or email at mleblanc@heritagelsl.ca

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