Intervention report concerning quotas on incontinence products

  • March 1, 2017

The Québec Ombudsman intervened further to allegations concerning the existence of quotas on incontinence briefs in fifteen residential and long-term care centres (CHSLDs), including private resources under contract. The purpose of the investigation was to ensure that the rights of the seniors lodged in these centres are upheld and that these residents are treated with dignity and respect.


  • The information gathered during the investigation, as well as the examination of complaints and reports handled by the Québec Ombudsman in the previous 18 months, did not suggest that there were instructions as to limits on the use of incontinence products.
  • The examination of the statistical use reports for the past year for the various institutions visited did not suggest that there had been a decrease in the use of these products.
  • The investigation confirmed the use of products specifically designed to respond to the needs of incontinent residents.
  • The investigation also showed that use of the term "quota" in inventory management may have led to the misperception that caregivers had to abide by a quota on these products.
  • The incontinence briefs are equipped with an indicator that makes it possible to assess the degree of absorption easily without disturbing the wearer needlessly. The Québec Ombudsman pointed out that this indicator must never be intended as a way of avoiding changing soiled briefs. In fact, it recommended that the CHSLDs remind their caregivers of this.


Considering that the same shortcomings may also occur in other institutions that were not subject to this intervention, the Québec Ombudsman recommended that the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux ensure that all health and social services network institutions apply the recommendations made to the institutions concerned.

To read excerpts from the report: Intervention involving eight health and social services network institutions concerning quotas on incontinence products (PDF, 75 KiB)

The Québec Ombudsman sees to it that the rights of health and social services network users are upheld. Want to report a troubling situation you have witnessed? Do you feel that the rights of a service user or several service users have not been respected? Report it by calling us at 1-800-463-5070 or by using our online complaint form.