Health and Social Services Network Users’ Rights Week
Eachone of us, whether youth, adult or senior must ensure to take the right decision concerning our health and the health of our loved ones. It is an important responsibility. Healthy lifestyles and wise food choices make it possible to improve the conditions necessary to staying healthy. Numerous tools can help us do that. For example, Canada’s Food Guide recommends eating fruits and vegetables, lowering calorie intake, controlling our body weight, participating in regular exercise, getting sufficient sleep, and more1.
In varying degrees, our family history, our habits, our behaviour, our living environment as well as our natural, social, economic and cultural environments have an effect on our health2. Governments have an obligation to promote health through the implementation of policies that take into account all of these determinants for promoting the health of the general population. These policies aim to address the risks related to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, perinatal problems and chronic diseases3.
Beyond personal efforts, the services of a Health care or social services professional is necessary when one’s health requires it. Henceforth, the responsibility of a person in regards to their health may be exercised by participating in decisions that affect them. In Quebec, participation in decisions that affect one’s health is a right recognized by law.
The right to participate in the decision-making process
The Loi sur les services de santé et les services sociaux Act entitles the User to participate in decisions that affect him. Indeed, “every User has the right to participate in decisions affecting their health or well-being.” This right also includes the right to participate in the implementation of the contingency plan (care) or personalized services as well as any amendments to the plan.
Specifically, this right is exercised by the questions we ask the care professionals and by the information that is available (or to which we would like to have access) about our physical or mental health diagnosis, prognosis, treatments to be considered along with the risks and consequences associated with these treatments and the analysis or examination results.
As Users of the Health and Social Services system, you are being proactive regarding your health when you participate in decisions that affect you. This involves working with professionals in your facility where you receive services as well as respect for the Intervention Plan or Personalized Service Plan which have been implemented. You also have the obligation to use the services wisely.
The Regroupement provincial des comités des usagers (RPCU) promotes health, defends the rights of users and represents the 600 User and In-Patient Committees in health and social services institutions throughout Quebec. The mission of User and In-Patient Committees is to defend the rights of users and to work at improving the quality of services offered to users in the health and social services network. The RPCU also advocates for the elderly. C.P. 60563, succursale Sainte-Catherine Est Montréal (Québec) H1V 3T8
Telephone: 514 436-3744, www.rpcu.qc.ca – email@example.com