Ontario Amends Laws to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Patients

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

The government of Ontario has reinforced its zero tolerance policy on the sexual abuse of patients by any regulated health professional, and implemented new programs and policies to keep people healthy.

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The province passed the Protecting Patients Act today, which includes legislative amendments to:

  • Expand the list of acts of sexual abuse that will result in the mandatory revocation of a regulated health professional's certificate of registration.
  • Remove the ability of a health regulatory college to impose restrictions that would allow a regulated health professional to continue practising on patients of a specific gender.
  • Ensure more timely access to therapy and counselling for patients who make a complaint of sexual abuse by a regulated health professional to a health regulatory college.
  • Require that more information regarding the current and past conduct of regulated health professionals is available to the public in an easy-to-access and transparent way.
  • Incorporate feedback from stakeholders, including establishing a higher threshold for when third-party records may be ordered to be produced in discipline hearings involving sexual abuse.

Additional amendments passed today to help people in Ontario stay healthy and safe include:

  • Improving the way immunizations are reported, which will help prevent children from being suspended from school for required school immunizations.
  • Making it easier and more convenient for people to receive coverage under the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Program for prescriptions that are written by nurse practitioners, and in the future, other authorized prescribers for products such as diabetes testing strips and nutritional products.
  • Continuing to ensure that community laboratory services are safe and effective by updating inspection provisions and streamlining licensing requirements.

The government of Ontario plans to increase access to care, reduc wait times and improve the patient experience through its Patients First Action Plan for Health Care and OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare - protecting health care today and into the future.