18. The principal functions of a regional council shall be:
(a) to encourage the participation of the population in defining its own needs in health services and social services and in the administration and operation of the establishments providing such services;
(b) to ensure sustained communication between the public, the Minister and such establishments;
(c) to receive and hear the complaints of persons for whom an establishment situated in the region for which the regional council is established has not furnished the health services and the social services that this act entitles them to receive, and make the recommendations it considers appropriate in this regard to the establishment concerned and the Minister;
(d) to advise and assist the establishments in the preparation of their programs to develop and operate health services and social services and to assume the duties that the Minister entrusts it with to carry out such programs;
(e) to promote the exchange, the elimination of duplication and the better distribution of services in the region and the setting up of common services for such establishments, and, as circumstances require, to maintain and administer such common services;
(f) to send the Minister, at least once a year, its recommendations to ensure adequate apportionment in its territory of the resources devoted to health services and social services and the best possible use of the available resources;
(g) to carry out, within its territory, any other function or assume the cost of any programme relating to the administration of health services and social services that is entrusted to it by the Government.