An institution's users' committee and in-patients' committees must follow guiding principles in order to take quality, efficient action centred on users.
- The interest of users must drive all decisions and actions of the users' committee and in-patients' committees.
- The representation of all of the institution's clienteles without discrimination based on race, colour, sex, age, religion, handicap or any other ground is fundamental to respecting the institution's users as a whole, be they in-patients or not.
- Respect and cooperation based on trust between the members of the users' committee, the members of the in-patients' committees, the institution's managers and all other people involved is essential to effective, concerted action on behalf of users.
- The autonomy of the users' committee and in-patients' committees is crucial in carrying out their mandate and functions. The committees determine their objectives and priorities for action. However, their autonomy is not absolute, as certain parameters must be taken into account. The committees are accountable for their actions to the users they represent, and, since they are committees of the institution, they also answer to the institution's board of directors.
- Partnership with the various departments within an institution must be fostered so as to develop a genuine synergy in enforcing user rights and improving the quality of services in the institution.
- Respect for confidentiality is imperative within the users' committee and inpatients' committees. Members must see it as a duty and take all steps necessary to ensure that the personal information to which they have access remains confidential. To that end, the members of the committees should take an oath of confidentiality.
Source : Reference Framework for Exercising the Functions Assumed by Members of User's Committees and In-Patients' Committees, Direction des communications du ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, 2006