Health and So­cial Ser­vices Net­work Users’ Rights Week

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

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, –

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