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Health and Social Services System in Brief

The Health ans Social Services System in Québecs

Territorial and local service networks

Territorial integration of health and social services is supported through area networks (RTS) designed to ensure both proximity and continuity of services.

Integrated health and social services centres or integrated university health and social services centres (integrated centre) are responsible for ensuring the development and proper functioning of all local health and social service networks that operate within its territorial service network.

Integrated centres and their partners share collective responsibility for providing integrated services that correspond to the needs of the population they serve, with a view to maintaining and/or improving health and welfare. In order to properly fulfill this population-based responsibility, they are required to provide comprehensive treatment and services in close proximity to the living environments of their clients. They are also required to ensure proper care and follow-up of their clients within the health and social services system. Among other principles, the model is based on service hierarchy, which facilitates complementarity of services and patient migration between frontline, secondary and tertiary services.

Integrated centres ensure the coordination of services provided by all partners in the network, which are the following :

  • Medical clinics and family medicine groups (GMF)
  • Community-based pharmacies
  • Community organizations
  • Social economy enterprises
  • Private establishments and other resources such as residential and long-term care centres (CHSLD) or private residences for seniors (RPA)
  • Non-institutional intermediate and family-type resources
  • Unamalgamated university hospital centres and institutes that provide specialized or highly specialized services to the population
  • If applicable, other integrated centres with supra regional mandates that provide specialized or highly specialized services to  patients in the service network may be added in compliance with established service corridors, such as a hospital centre, a child and youth protection centre or a rehab centre
  • Partners from other sectors: schools, municipalities, employment, etc.

Representation of a local health and social services network[D]


  • CH: hospital centre
  • CHSLD: residential and long-term care centre
  • CISSS: integrated health and social services centre
  • CIUSSS: integrated university health and social services centre
  • CLSC: local community service centre
  • CPEJ: child and youth protection centre
  • CR: rehab centre
  • GMF: family medicine group
  • RI/RTF: intermediate and family-type resource
  • RPA: private residence for seniors

Updated on : November 30, 2015

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