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Centres locaux de services communautaires

Claude Castonguay’s 1967 report on health insurance recommended the creation of local health centres and, in 1971, under Bill 65, An Act Respecting Health Services and Social Services, Centres locaux de services communautaires (CLSCs) were created to unite primary health services, social services and community action under local direction. The CLSCs, however, challenged the dominance of hospitals and doctors with the result that, between 1972 and 1977, only 72 were opened, mainly in poor urban centres and underserviced rural areas. Instead of supporting this innovation in social medicine, the Fédération des médecins omnipracticiens du Québec (FMOQ) urged family physicians to develop group practices and polyclinics and, by 1977, 350 private clinics employing 1,500 doctors overshadowed the 111 mainly salaried physicians and 600 paramedical workers in the CLSCs.  Nevertheless, this type of professional teamwork, directed by an elected community board and emphasizing disease prevention and health promotion, provided a model for health care reformers in other provinces. The CLSC is described as “a public organization that offers front-line health services (dispensary, clinic) and services related to home care of the elderly or the disabled, and the care of newborns, as well as prenatal classes, vaccination of young children, training in health and hygiene in schools (school nurse), etc.” (Centre local de services communautaires, Wikipedia at

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    Date Created: March 31, 2010 | Last Updated: April 21, 2010