Annual Report 2016 - Page 4

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE “ The College continued with our initiative to improve our processes to better support patients and protect them from sexual abuse ” 4 improve our processes to better support patients and protect them from sexual abuse by phy- sicians. As part of that effort, we recognized that our governing legislation needed to be modern- ized. To that end, we advanced a number of proposals for changes that would strengthen penal- ties, make sexual misconduct investigations and prosecutions more effective and efficient, and better empower and support pa- tients involved in the discipline process. Bill 87, The Protecting Patients Act, was introduced in Decem- ber 2016, and it contains a number of our recommenda- tions. In the months that would follow, the College reviewed the proposed legislation carefully and actively participated in the legislative process to help ensure the regulatory system had the tools needed to ensure patient protection. And as the opioid crisis continued to take its toll on families and communities across Canada, we stepped up our efforts to address potentially unsafe prescribing practices. We investigated a significant number of physicians whose prescribing practices had been flagged by Ontario’s Narcotics Monitoring System as poten- COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS OF ONTARIO tially concerning. The informa- tion we received suggested that these physicians were engaging in practice patterns that may be inconsistent with the Canadian Guideline, and could present a possible risk to patients, either by prescribing high doses of opioids or prescribing opioids in combination with benzodiaz- epines. Investigations, however, are just one important component in the College’s Opioid Strategy – a wide-ranging effort that will see us add other tools, including education and assessment, to try and help bring an end to this catastrophic crisis. I urge you to read more about these initiatives, as well as many others, in the following pages of our 2016 Annual Report. It was a privilege to lead the College and I am grateful to my colleagues on Council for the opportunity. In addition to thanking my Hospital col- leagues for their support and understanding, I would like to acknowledge the College staff, who were a pleasure to work with throughout my term.