Archive | 50 years ago, the network of CLSCs in Quebec was created

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Archives | The network of CLSCs in Quebec was created 50 years ago

The CLSC network was created 50 years ago.

On July 19, 1971, the network of CLSCs (local community service centers) was created in Quebec. The objective of this network is to offer a range of health and social services to disadvantaged neighborhoods or communities lacking resources.

“People had so many problems that in the end there was no way to even determine which problem was the most important. In Saint-Jacques, they thought that the health problem was the most important. »

— Doctor Henri Bellemare, 1970

On July 19, 1971, Quebec's Minister of Social Affairs Claude Castonguay announced that his priority was to set up 25 local community service centers (CLSCs) throughout the province.

Eight of these CLSCs will be created in Montreal, two in Quebec and 15 in the regions of Quebec.

The commonality of the chosen locations is that the neighborhoods or communities they will serve lack health or social resources.

Wilfrid Lemoine interviews Doctor Henri Bellemare who recounts the origins of the popular clinics of Saint-Jacques and Pointe-Saint-Charles which have partially inspired the creation of CLSCs.

October 13, 1970, host Wilfrid Lemoine of the show Format 30,asks Doctor Henri Bellemare, who at the time was a candidate in the municipal elections of Montreal for the Front d'action politique (FRAP) party.

The doctor particularly recalls the deplorable state of the socio-sanitary situation in the Montreal neighborhoods of Saint-Jacques and Pointe-Saint-Charles.

A mobilization of the population of these neighborhoods led to the foundation of popular multidisciplinary clinics which partially inspired the creation of CLSCs.

On June 20, 1974, people gathered in Hull to celebrate the opening of the CLSC de la ville de l'Outaouais.

Radio-Canada is taking this opportunity to ask party participants what they hope for from a CLSC.

Interviews with people participating in the opening of the CLSC de la ville de Hull

The excerpt from this filming sequence shows broad and varied expectations that go beyond health issues.

We also question some Hulleans about what they think of the hostility shown by doctors towards CLSCs.

It should be remembered that at the time, many doctors were opposed to the opening of CLSCs and even refused to practice there.

The opinion of the people of Hull fairly reflects faithfully that of the population of Quebec in general: disappointment mixed with the hope that the youngest doctors will possess a mentality more favorable to the community philosophy than their elders.

When the CLSC de Hull opened, its first director was a 25-year-old woman who would go on to have an exceptional career.

This is Pauline Marois. She would later become a minister in several Parti Québécois governments and then Premier of Quebec from September 2012 to April 2014.

CLSC director Pauline Marois explains the nature of her institution's mandate.

In another excerpt from a filming sequence recorded during the opening party of the CLSC de Hull, Pauline Marois explains the many aspects of the mandate of the establishment she heads.

Pauline Marois describes the CLSC as a place of reference for almost anything regarding medical and social issues. You can come to see a doctor as well as ask questions about obtaining a health insurance or social insurance card.

The director of the CLSC is particularly proud that a doctor has agreed to come and work in her establishment… even if it's only one day a week. She also refuses to see the polyclinics created by certain doctors as a business of bypassing the CLSCs. Rather, she sees them as a complementary approach.

In the same breath, she refutes the arguments put forward by certain doctors on the supposedly intrusive aspect of CLSCs in their work. The doctors, confirms Pauline Marois, will not sweep the floors either. Nor will they deal with issues that should be dealt with by social workers.

In 2005, the CLSCs are 30 years old. In the West Island of Montreal, the population served by the CLSC René-Cassin includes 27% of people aged 65 and over. This CLSC therefore decided 10 years ago to take the turn of home care to relieve both the sick and their caregivers.

Journalist Catherine Kovacs went to see how this turn is going.

Report by Catherine Kovacs on home care provided at CLSC René-Cassin in the West Island of Montreal

His report presented on Téléjournal on March 5, 2005 shows us patients satisfied with the care provided by CLSC staff in their homes. As for caregivers, home care proves to be a much appreciated respite to lighten a task that is both very demanding and constant.

The CLSC René-Cassin initiative is perceived very positively and has become a focus of gerontology researchers such as Jean-Pierre Lavoie, from the University of Montreal, who says moreover, CLSCs will have to offer more and more services at home.

Quebec is indeed an aging society with multiple needs. In addition, adds Catherine Kovacs, the strategy of the Government of Quebec, then focused on hospitals, did not meet all the needs.

In 2021, Quebec has a network of CLSCs in all corners of the province.

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