Factsheet 2 - Health Care

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Your language rights in New Brunswick
A summary of your rights under the Official Languages Act of New Brunswick
FACTSHEET 2 - Health Care
What you need to know

English and French are the official languages of New Brunswick. You therefore have the right to receive health care services in either of these languages.

Examples of public bodies that must serve you in the official language of your choice:

  • Ambulance New Brunswick
  • Department of Health
  • Extra-Mural Program
  • Horizon and Vitalité Health Networks
  • Hospitals
  • Mental health centres
  • New Brunswick Heart Centre
  • Public Health Services
  • Stan Cassidy Rehabilitation Centre
Attention: exceptions

The New Brunswick Official Languages Act does not apply to:

  • pharmacies
  • private health care providers
  • private health clinics
  • private physicians’ offices.
Across the province

Throughout New Brunswick, hospital and health services staff must serve you in the official language of your choice.

All communications

Your language rights apply to all types of communication.

Active offer of service

From the moment of first contact, you must be greeted in both official languages so that you know that services are available in both English and French. Furthermore, your choice of language must be respected throughout the continuum of care.

Services of equal quality

Health services and programs must be of equal quality in both official languages.

Health Networks

New Brunswick has two Health Networks: Horizon and Vitalité. They manage hospitals and provide health care services. Each Network has an internal working language (English for Horizon and French for Vitalité). However, both networks must provide their services to the public in both official languages.

Language: At the heart of quality care

“Providing quality health services goes beyond the technical acts involved in providing people with care. Quality is, in fact, closely tied to the ability of the workers to assist, advise, guide and educate the service users. The ability to understand and to be understood is therefore a crucial part of an effective relationship between health professionals and users of health services.”


Consultative Committee for French-Speaking Minority Communities

To find out more about your language rights, visit www.officiallanguages.nb.ca.

Answers to your questions

What is the role of the Commissioner of Official Languages?

The Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick is an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly. The Commissioner’s role is to protect the language rights of members of the Anglophone and Francophone communities and to promote the advancement of both official languages.

If your rights are not respected

There may be circumstances when public bodies do not respect your language rights. If that is the case, we invite you to contact us. Filing a complaint is easy, and the investigations we conduct help improve the quality of bilingual services. To learn more, simply click on this link.

How to contact us

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick
Telephone: 1-888-651-6444
Email: commissioner@officiallanguages.nb.ca
Website: officiallanguages.nb.ca
Address: Kings Place, 440 King Street, King Tower, Suite 646  Fredericton, NB  E3B 5H8

To find out more about your language rights, visit www.officiallanguages.nb.ca.