Ensuring an inclusive, accessible and respectful environment.

Helping patients with diverse needs

We understand that health care is more than treating a disease; we want to be an inclusive, accessible, respectful and welcoming place for everyone. At Osler, health equity is about making sure that all patients have access to respectful and appropriate care that meets their individual needs, no matter who they are. 

Why does health equity matter?

Patients of diverse backgrounds and differing needs sometimes face barriers to accessing appropriate, safe and timely health care. The Office of Health Equity & Inclusion can help you to make more informed choices, link with helpful resources during and after your stay and have more access to health information in your language. We also provide diversity education, training, resources and guidelines to our staff so that they can better meet your unique needs.

One of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers

For the fourth year in a row, Osler is honoured to have won the Canada’s Best Diversity Employers 2016 Award. We are proud to be recognized for the work that we have accomplished on our journey towards offering inclusive and patient centred care.

We believe that diversity is in our DNA.

Diversity tools and resources for patients and families

Patient Education Material (Multilingual)
Multilingual patient-education guides have been prepared to help you better understand what to expect during and after your hospital stay, and to provide information that you and your loved ones will find useful. Please see the menu on the left hand side of this page for access to these materials. 

Interpretation Services
We want to ensure that our patients and families can communicate well with the health care teams about their care. At registration, we ask all of our patients what their preferred language is, so that we may better serve them. 

Our staff can access interpretation services 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. If your loved one has limited English skills, has a vision or hearing difficulty, or requires a Sign Language Interpreter, please inform hospital staff.

Accessibility Plan and Services  Osler provides services for patients with accessibility needs – physical or mental health. To learn more about Osler’s Accessibility Plan and services provided, please click here.

French Language Services (FLS)
Under Ontario's French Language Services Act (1986), a person has the right to communicate and receive services in French. Francophone patients can access many services at Osler in French, and may contact Health Equity & Inclusion with any concerns.  

Religious and Spiritual Care
At Osler we recognize that in times of illness, trauma and loss, people often require more than physical care to help them cope. Our Spiritual Health Therapy Department helps patients with their spiritual and religious needs by providing patient visitation, counselling, and support. 

A 24-hour multi-faith/prayer room is also open for patients and families, on the second floor, next to the Leaf Elevators. 

Patient Food Services
If you have special dietary needs for cultural, religious reasons and/or have allergies to certain foods/food products, please inform staff.  Osler’s Food Services Department works with Health Equity & Inclusion to ensure that appropriate options are provided. (E.g. Vegan, Vegetarian, Halal and Kosher diets). Varied menu options include popular choices of Thai, South Asian, Italian, North American, and Chinese selections. Annually recognized holidays are observed through the meal trays.   

Patient Rights & Responsibilities
At William Osler Health System we are committed to providing the best community health care in Ontario. We believe that our patients and families are partners in the delivery of quality patient care. As a patient, you have rights as well as responsibilities

What to do if you have other questions or concerns
If you have other questions or concerns about, for example, religious or cultural clothing that may not be removed, or you are unable to receive a blood transfusion, please inform the staff so that options may be discussed with you.  

We appreciate your understanding

We’ll do our best to meet your needs and preferences, but there may be times when we cannot. For example, we may ask you to limit the number of visitors you receive (for your own recovery and/or for other patients in your unit). We may not always be able to meet requests for a same gender physician/care provider (especially if your treatment or procedure is urgent and could affect your health or illness). We appreciate your understanding when these situations arise.

We are listening and we want to hear from you!

We welcome your input and feedback. Contact the Health Equity & Inclusion team if you have any questions, comments or suggestions about diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility at Osler. 

Please email: healthequityandinclusion@williamoslerhs.ca or call us: 

Mary Jane McNally, Chief Patient Experience Officer, ext. 50197

Gurwinder Gill, Director, Health Equity & Inclusion, ext. 57564

Aziza Ibrahim, Senior Administrative Assistant, ext. 50101

Kitty Balachandran, Health Equity & Inclusion Specialist, ext. 50102

Marilyn Verghis, Health Equity & Inclusion Specialist, ext. 50104

Related Information

Resource Center

Helpful links to the most useful lists and forms for health professionals.

Connect with Osler