Annual Report 2014 - Page 22

Protecting, Supporting Patients from Sexual Abuse There are no circumstances in which sexual activity between physicians and their patients is acceptable. At the end of 2014, the College announced its plan to find ways to better protect and support patients who have been sexually abused by their physicians. The plan will include recommendations for change to the sexual abuse provisions of the Regulated Health Professions Act as well as an evaluation of our own processes to ensure best practices in sexual abuse investigations and prosecutions. Sexual abuse investigations represent 2% of the College’s total investigations each year. That figure has been constant for 10 years. “This College takes sexual abuse by physicians very seriously. We want to ensure that we are able to empower patients to come forward, and protect and support them when they do,” said Dr. Carol Leet, incoming president at the December 2014 Council meeting. It has been more than 20 years since the RHPA was passed, together with its provisions for mandatory revocation of a physician’s certificate of registration for certain acts of sexual abuse. In light of the passage of time, Council decided we needed to look at our governing legislation with a new lens and decide whether this legislation is still the best way to address physician sexual abuse or whether changes are required. Council has made it clear that everything will be on the table for 20 COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS OF ONTARIO