On May 23, 2023, Québec Ombudsman Marc-André Dowd tabled a brief with the Committee on Health and Social Services. The topic was Bill 15, Act to make the health and social services system more effective.

The Bill, in creating Santé Québec, an entity which will take over a large portion of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux’s current responsibilities, is a major overhaul. This Department is within the Québec Ombudsman’s jurisdiction. As a result, it is essential that Santé Québec, along with the new national service quality and complaints commissioner, be within its purview as well. Under the Bill, the Québec Ombudsman does not have this jurisdiction. There will have to be legislative amendments that rectify this omission.

The Québec Ombudsman also pointed out the consequential amendments to other legislation needed to ensure that it can fully carry out its mandate. The changes impact the Act respecting the Health and Social Services Ombudsman.

First Nations and Inuit will be affected by the changes being considered because they use the services concerned. The brief describes the improvements required for affirming the principle of cultural safety.

Lastly, since residential and long-term care institutions are heavily funded by public coffers, Santé Québec should strengthen monitoring of this institutional category.

The Québec Ombudsman made 29 recommendations to the Committee on Health and Social Services.

Brief by the Québec Ombudsman on Bill 15 (PDF, 603 KiB, in French only)