A recent survey of Horizon staff showed many didn't understand they didn't need to be bilingual to offer the service on behalf of the health network. (CBC)

The Horizon Health Network says it's taking steps to provide better bilingual services for patients.

Earlier this week, New Brunswick's official languages commissioner said she still has concerns about the lack of bilingual services at Horizon facilities.

Pauline Gallant, director of official languages for Horizon, says the health district is changing the way it offers language training.

"We know that a lot of challenges is around freeing up staff to be able to attend these training sessions, so instead of having them come to us, in some instances we're actually going to them. So it gives them a lot more easy access to the training," Gallant told CBC News.

Horizon is also trying to teach its employees that they don't have to be bilingual in order to ask a patient whether they want services in French or English, she said.

A recent survey of staff showed that many didn't understand that they didn't need to be bilingual to offer the service on behalf of Horizon, Gallant said.

"One thing that has been mentioned is that they find it, some staff find it a bit misleading in saying, 'If I do the active offer, I'm telling the patient or member of the public that I can serve them in their language.'

"And in fact, what we're asking employees to do is to actively offer the service, but not necessarily be bilingual themselves."

Those employees can then refer a patient to someone else at Horizon who is bilingual, she said.