Users’ Rights Week 2020 – Poster

June 12, 2020

Users’ Rights Week 2020 Edition

The 2020 Edition of the Users’ Rights’ Week will be held from September 21 to September 27, 2020. The English promotional material is now available. This year’s theme is The right to be accompanied, assisted and to be represented. Every user is entitled to be accompanied or assisted by a person during appointments or when receiving treatments, if the situation permits it. The person accompanying does not dictate the required services or treatments. He or she is there to be of support to the user, namely by assisting them in obtaining clear and comprehensive information. It is also a right to be represented by a person of one’s choice when one is incapable or unfit.

For the 2020 edition of the Users’ Rights’ Week, RPCU offers a poster available in English and in French. Posters: $1.50 each. Taxes included. Shipping costs not included.

Ordering promotional material and find out more about the Week

April 8, 2020

Shared information: helpers/caregivers

Québec Nursing Collaboration and Influence Group offers the possibility for members of users’ committees to support the caregivers of the people they help by transmitting information concerning these users. This information will be particularly useful if the person has recently been hospitalized or accommodated.

Procedure to follow

Save the Information sharing form on your computer. Open it and enter the required information.

Send the completed form by email, mail or bring it in person.

Take the time to acknowledge the work of the caregivers and thank them in the “Comments” section.

April 2, 2020

COVID-19 | People with COVID-19 Admitted to CHSLD’s, or How to Make a Healthcare Crisis Worse

Open Letter

The Regroupement provincial des comités des usagers (RPCU) has learned that people with COVID-19 are being admitted on a transitional, temporary, or permanent basis to CHSLD’s. Knowing that CHSLD residents are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and that the death rate from this virus is above average for people 70 years of age and older, our members have expressed serious concerns for the security and well-being not only of residents, but also of personnel of CHSLD’s, which, as we know, are understaffed. It is important to recall that these front-line workers offer services and basic care daily, such as food and meal preparation for residents, personal hygiene services, distribution of medication, etc.

Staff who work in a hot zone (where there are confirmed cases of coronavirus) are at risk of being contaminated by a resident with COVID-19, but also risk spreading the virus while taking care of several residents and being in proximity to other staff members. Moreover, staff members could involuntarily contaminate people they contact outside their work establishment.

The arrival of future residents who are asymptomatic is also concerning, as CHSLD’s do not have the same isolation measures as a hospital, nor do they have the same equipment, nor personnel in sufficient numbers.

The arrival of these new residents with COVID-19, even without symptoms, has the potential to cause an explosion of cases, increasing the number of infected people and deaths significantly. These hot zones would overwhelm the capacity of the CHSLD should an outbreak occur.

To avoid this situation, which significantly raises the levels of stress and anxiety among staff members, residents, and their loved ones, the Regroupement provincial des comités des usagers insists that the Minister of Health and Social Services put an end to this practice before it makes the crisis worse. The RPCU recommends exploring other avenues which would take into account the admitting capacity and limited means of CHSLD’s and their clientele, one of the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

The hearts of the RPCU and the Users’ and In-patients Committees go out to these users, residents, and their loved ones in this period of healthcare crisis. We also wish to thank the staff of our health and social services establishments for their tireless commitment to users and their loved ones.

Let us continue to work together for a future without COVID-19.

Patricia M. Gagné
Director General

March 31, 2020

COVID-19 | RPCU: More than ever, Users’ and In-patient committees support Users and their loved ones

PDF press release

Montreal, March 31, 2020 – The Regroupement provincial des comités des usagers (RPCU) fully supports the efforts that Users’ and In-patient Committees are making to continue to offer services to Users in all regions of Quebec during the COVID-19 crisis. Thanks to their essential help, they support various groups involved in this healthcare struggle.

RPCU Priorities During the Coronavirus Crisis

Users’ and In-patient Committees were already organized and active in all regions of Quebec, for all client programs, for Users themselves and for their loved ones. The RPCU considers that the following priorities reflect the concerns of its members and the population at large:

  1. Users’ and In-patient Committees must be included in COVID-19 committees of all Health and Social Services establishments so that they can contribute to the implementation of ministerial directives and effectively support Users and their loved ones, helping reduce their anxiety and distress.
  2. Implementation of ministerial directives must be applied uniformly in all establishments of the Health and Social Services network in order to avoid inequalities in levels of service between establishments. Inequalities raise the levels of distress and dissatisfaction of Users and their loved ones, depending on their location.
  3. Users’ rights must be considered when it comes to decisions and actions taken during the COVID-19 crisis and in each of the steps that follow it.

The Role of Users’ and In-patient Committees

Present and active across every region of Quebec, Users’ and In-patient Committees remain the defenders of Users’ rights, and continue to inform and accompany Users and their loved ones by offering information and guiding them in their efforts. They ensure that Users are treated with respect for their dignity and rights. They are also representatives of Users and in-patients with respect to the various bodies of Health and Social Services establishments. Among other things, they promote the improvement of living conditions for residents, regardless of their age and health.


“The Regroupement provincial des comités des usagers is a recognized partner in the Health and Social Services network and its members are willing to support the sustained efforts of the MSSS to eliminate, or at least reduce, the impacts of the coronavirus on its users and their loved ones.”

– Patricia M. Gagné, Director-general, Regroupement provincial des comités des usagers

“Because of the mission and scope given by its legal mandate, Users’ and In-patient Committees are in the best position to inform and support Users who are affected by the measures designed to fight COVID-19, while being considerate of their well-being and respecting their rights.”

– Marc Rochefort, Strategic Counsellor, Regroupement provincial des comités des usagers

“In the context of a healthcare crisis, the MSSS is doing all it can to protect the population as a whole, focusing on collective rights. This extraordinary and temporary situation might affect the individual rights of Users. The RPCU re-emphasizes that all of the rights of Users must be taken into consideration and, as much as possible within the limits of emergency restrictions, respected. Helping each other without doing harm is the key to social solidarity.”

– Patricia M. Gagné, Director-general, Regroupement provincial des comités des usagers

About the Regroupement provincial des comités des usagers

Founded in 2004, the Regroupement Provincial des Comités des Usagers (RPCU) of the Health and Social Services network encompasses the majority of Quebec’s Users’ and In-patients Committees. The RPCU is the only organization mandated by the government of Quebec to defend Users’ rights in all regions of the province. It offers committee members support and training in order to better perform their legal functions.

Spokespersons for interviews in French:

Patricia M. Gagné, Director-general, RPCU, and Marc Rochefort, Strategic Counsellor, RPCU

Spokesperson for interviews in English:

Lucio D’Intino, member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee, RPCU 

For information or to arrange interviews, contact:

Sylvie Cajelait, Communications
Cell : 514 366-5617 

Le MSSS précise ses orientations en regard du rôle des comités des usagers dans le contexte actuel

March 18, 2020

The role of users’ committees in the current context

The MSSS specifies its orientations regarding the role of users’ committees in the current context.

Montreal, March 18, 2020 – The Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux (MSSS) has provided the RCPU with certain clarifications on its orientations regarding the role of users’ and in-patients’ committees in the current context.

These orientations are intended to answer the various questions submitted to the RCPU by the users’ committees in the last few days. They fall within the exceptional context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In general, the MSSS invites the members of the users’ committees who want information on COVID-19 and the MSSS’s recommendations to consult the Quebec government site, which is updated daily.

With respect to access to offices reserved for users’ and residents’ committees in the health and social services network facilities, the MSSS asks the users’ committees to follow the establishment’s guidelines.

To this end, the MSSS favours contact with users by e-mail and telephone. It also reminds users that the local service quality and complaints commissioner (ombudsman) can also be contacted by users in the event of an urgent situation.

With regard to the specific situation of members of users’ committees who are also family caregivers and/or nurse aide, the MSSS reminds users that visits to hospitals, residential and long-term care centers (CHSLDs) are prohibited for an indefinite period of time except for humanitarian reasons, such as to accompany a patient at the end-of-life.

On March 17, the Premier reiterated that visits to CHSLDs are not permitted. He also reiterated the request made to receive résumés from people qualified to take care of residents in long-term care centers (CHSLD), particularly retirees from the health and social services network. He also said that if family/ informal caregivers are qualified to do this work, they can follow the procedure and submit their application.

For annual general meetings (AGMs) and work related to annual reports, the MSSS’s general instructions are to avoid all non-essential gatherings, even if this delays the reporting process.

Given that the situation is evolving from day to day, the MSSS is currently not able to make predictions regarding the resumption of regular activities. When the exceptional situation is resolved, the MSSS will show flexibility with respect to the deadlines for the submission of the annual reports of the users’ committees and other administrative exercises.

With respect to surpluses, the MSSS says it does not yet know the impact that the current situation will have. Nevertheless, the Circulaire ministérielle already provides for flexibility for public establishments, which will allow them to keep the amounts not spent during the year. Depending on what will be noted at the end of the financial exercise, special arrangements could be considered.

Aware that the current situation represents a challenge for the users’ and In-patient committees, the MSSS specifies that the situation is evolving rapidly and that ongoing adjustments are required. It is also convinced that the users’ committees will use creativity in maintaining connection with users and their families in order to perform their functions in the current exceptional circumstances.

Patricia M Gagné – Directrice générale du Regroupement provincial des comités des usagers

December 01, 2019

“Alone, I go faster. Together, we go further.” – African proverb

Wow! What wonderful discoveries I made, and what beautiful people I met during the Congress last October where I introduced myself to you for the first time. I listened, observed, analysed and understood. And this is only the beginning… I left the Congress more nourished, enriched and enthusiastic: I feel at the right place.

I often say that my role, regardless of the office I hold in my professional life, is one of a facilitator. I am at the service of an organization so as to facilitate the achievement of its mission and objectives. In this sense, I am at your service and I will utilize my knowledge and skills so that the RPCU may continue its positive impact.

My vision includes the following facts:

  • The Regroupement has all the resources needed to accomplish its mission;
  • The committees are well supported;
  • We have the visibility within the public space in order to play our role as key player in the improvement of the quality and safety of care.

I am constantly concerned with:

  • Offering quality services that address the needs of the committees in a fair and equitable manner;
  • Contributing to a harmonious and fulfilling workplace environment;
  • Consulting while respecting everyone’s mandates;
  • Working in collaboration and partnership with others;
  • Being a facilitator for all stakholders.

Lastly, I am pleased that the three ministers who gave a speech during the Congress recognized the essential role of the Users and In-patients’ committees.

I wish you a happy Holiday season and please accept my best wishes for 2020!

I look forward to speaking with you!

Director General
Patricia M Gagné

Claude Ménard – Président du Regroupement provincial des comités des usagers

December 01, 2019

The pursuit

According to the dictionaries, the term ‘pursuit’ means the action of pursuing, searching and preserving.

This is the challenge we had for the year 2018-2019. At the annual general meeting held in Rivière-du-Loup last October, the status reported reflected the efforts made to achieve the objectives set the previous year.

These efforts required some reorganization and adjustment of the service offer. This was made possible thanks to the invaluable support of the existing staff and members of the RPCU who supported us throughout the process. I can assure you that we are on the right track: Our pursuit is progressing.

I’m drawing your attention on the new Director General’s message (see above). The pursuit of each step and the research carried out enabled us to choose Mrs. Patricia M Gagné as the ideal candidate. We are very happy with our choice, and are assuring her of all the necessary support for her upcoming challenges.

In addition to the pursuit of many files, special attention will be given to the RPCU Governance file. After many years, we need to review our governance and by-laws. The Governance and Strategies committee is presently working on this and a follow-up will be sent to you.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Marc Rochefort who has accompanied us in his role as Acting Executive Director for the past 18 months as well as Mrs. Claire Jolicoeur who is retiring after 10 years of loyal service to the RPCU as secretary. Thank you both. You have always been able to guarantee the pursuit of quality in the service offer to members.

The Holiday season is already upon us. In these times of celebration, we should not forget our users and in-patients who are in a vulnerable situation.

On behalf of myself as well as the members of the Board of Directors, I wish you happy family gatherings with your loved ones. May the year 2020 bring you everything you are hoping for: Health, peace, happiness and the pursuit of your expectations…

Claude Ménard

Past Press Releases

August 21, 2017
Ambitious citizen assessment of the quality of services at the Montréal West Island IUHSSC

January 24, 2017
Federal funding for health care: RPCU asks for Quebec’s public support by taking part in the #trudeauourmoneyback campaign

January 17, 2017
Bill against abuse: Bill 115 does not respond to the promise made to fight abuse

August 30, 2016
Users Rights Day: Montreal’s new users’ committees reach out

July 5, 2016
End-of-life care at MUHC: users call for immediate action by management

April 14, 2016
Doctor-assisted dying: Quebec consensus needs rebuilding

April 24, 2015
New Glen site of the MUHC: the RPCU invites users to get informed

September 30, 2013
Health and Social Services Network Users’ Rights Week: 44% of Quebecers say they are willing to pay more for Health and Homecare services

September 5, 2013
Charter of Quebec Values: RPCU fears for rights of health and social services network users

June 12, 2016
Death with dignity: making tough decisions more humane

April 19, 2013
Class action against the CHSLD Saint-Charles-Borromée: The RPCU is satisfied with the outcome of the class action against the CHSLD Saint-Charles-Borromée

December 20, 2012
Deficit at the MUHC: Governance at issue, according to the RPCU

March 20, 2012
Quebec Government 2012 Budget: RPCU applauds investment in home care

March 5, 2012
Crisis in nursing homes: A simple solution: Existing Users’ and In-patients’ Committees

December 6, 2011
Provincial registry of incidents and accidents: The RPCU intends to keep a close eye on the situation

September 6, 2011
RPCU believes 18-foot-long lease form for elderly living in private residences is unreasonable

June 6, 2011
Pavillon Marquette and elderly residents in intermediate resources – RPCU deplores a situation that could happen again

March 15, 2011
The Regroupement provincial des comités des usagers (RPCU) calls for protection for seniors living in private residences

October 21, 2010
88% of Quebecers believe that user/patient committees must represent the needs of the users