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Québec: Vaccination Access Challenges – and Solutions

Know where to go for your vaccinations

By Vaccines411.ca

Quebecers looking to have a vaccination may have noticed that the process of getting immunized is a little more involved than it used to be. Many may be surprised to discover that their family physician no longer provides this service, and are unsure of their options.

At the end of January last year, Québec instituted a ban on accessory costs, making it illegal for doctors to charge for health-care services already covered by the Québec's health insurance board, the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ). That includes provision of vaccinations.

If you are an individual who routinely saw your family physician for a checkup and vaccinations update, before travelling for work or leisure, or took your kids for their vaccinations to prepare for another school year, you may be wondering where to access the immunizations you need.

Know your vaccination options

The procedure to follow to get vaccinated varies by region. Generally, people in Quebec have a few options – all vaccines listed in the Quebec Immunisation Program are provided free of charge at any local community service centre (CLSC). The difficulty may be accessing vaccinations in timely fashion, as waiting lists have grown since this policy change was introduced. Reportedly, wait times continue to be several months, which is a particular concern for people trying to access vaccinations for babies and young children according to the Quebec Immunisation Program’s recommended schedule.

You may also access the vaccinations you need at a private medical clinic, a travel vaccine clinic, and some pharmacies that have a nurse on staff to provide vaccinations. The whole process is easier when you plan ahead and know where to go.

Know where to go

Vaccines411.ca is here for you with a quick and easy solution. Just type in your postal code, select a category, choose one or more vaccines and get a list of the 20 vaccinating clinics nearest to you. It is always advisable to call ahead to confirm availability of the vaccine you need, to find out about any associated fees and to make an appointment.

Vaccination records matter

As of January 2019, all vaccinations provided in Quebec will be recorded on a computerized file, and an immunization card provided. It is important to take care of your immunization records – lost vaccination cards will not be replaced. Canadians can track their immunizations themselves right now using CANImmunize, a digital immunization record with a mobile app for smartphones, and a soon-to-be released desktop version as well. Access this handy tool at canimmunize.ca.

Keep your vaccines current

Don’t let a change in the rules interfere with your family’s protection against common preventable diseases. Check with your vaccinating clinic or your physician to find out how to keep your vaccinations up-to-date.

Talk to your doctor about what immunizations you may need, and visit Vaccines411.ca for vaccine information and to find the vaccinating clinic nearest you.

Sources

  1. What can you be billed for? A guide to Quebec's ban on medical user fees
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/gaetan-barrette-user-fees-abolition-1.3951648
  2. Frais accessoires : ce qui ne peut plus être facturé aux patients
    https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1013184/frais-accessoires-ce-qui-ne-peut-plus-etre-facture-aux-patients
  3. Les frais accessoires en santé seront abolis dès le 26 janvier
    https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1010220/barrette-frais-accessoire-reglement-entree-vigueur-janvier-accessibilite-services-assures
  4. L’accès à des vaccins essentiels pour nouveau-nés au ralenti dans certains CLSC
    http://www.tvanouvelles.ca/2018/03/02/lacces-a-des-vaccins-essentiels-pour-nouveau-nes-au-ralenti-dans-certains-clsc
  5. Québec Vaccination Registry
    http://sante.gouv.qc.ca/en/programmes-et-mesures-daide/registre-de-vaccination-du-quebec/inscription-obligatoire-en-tant-que-personne-vaccinee/
  6. The Québec Immunisation Program
    http://sante.gouv.qc.ca/en/programmes-et-mesures-daide/programme-quebecois-d-immunisation/#demarche

 

Summer 2018, Vol 10 N°3

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