Annual Report 2015 - Page 36

engaging Working With Government As regulator and public protector, the College works with government decision-makers to inform policy development and legislative changes. College authority is set out in provincial legislation and the College makes submissions concerning legislation and regulations to ensure patient protection and the currency and effectiveness of our governing legislation. We also respond to legislation that has implications for medical regulation and patient protection, and are active participants in the legislative process. In 2015, we worked closely with government on areas of shared focus including physician assisted dying, prevention of sexual abuse, transparency, and assisted reproduction. Although 2015 was a relatively quiet year for provincial legislation introduced that had an impact on the College, a number of legislative initiatives were closely followed. Of continued interest to the College is Bill 33, Safeguarding our Communities Act (Patch for Patch Return Policy), 2015. The College has a longstanding interest and concern with opioid prescribing related issues. The Bill’s primary intent is to implement a provincial “patch-for-patch” program that aims to combat the abuse of fentanyl. The College is working closely with the government to provide input on the regulations and the roll-out of this new initiative. The College also made a submission on Bill 77, Affirming Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Act, 2015. This Bill sought to prohibit payment for services broadly referred to as conversion or reparative therapy, whose intent is to seek to change or direct the sexual orientation or gender identity of a patient. The Bill made it an offence to provide these services to patients under the age of 18. This Bill passed third reading and also received Royal Assent on June 4, 2015. Physician and Public Advisory Services The Public and Physician Advisory Services area is the initial contact for members of the public and the profession. Advisors provide information about CPSO policies and assist with a wide variety of questions about physician practice. Advisory staff are the initial contact for complaints and resolve issues when possible and appropriate. They also assist physicians in all aspects of the annual renewal process. They respond to thousands of inquiries annually, via phone, e-mail, and 36 correspondence. In 2015, a total of 55,647 calls were placed to our frontline areas, reflecting a 9% decrease from 2014. The decrease in call volume is partially attributed to the increased success of the annual renewal process. Physicians are now more familiar with the online process and require less assistance. Approximately 30% of calls from members of the public are clinical in nature. COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS OF ONTARIO