Dialogue Volume 13 Issue 2 2017 - Page 16

reports from council Council also heard a presentation from Dr. David Juurlink, a medical toxicologist from the Hospital for Sick Children, and an expert on drug safety. Please read about Dr. Juurlink’s presentation on page 21. Committee. To ensure that the College is able to consider all opioid issues within a quality assurance focus, Council directed that the role of the Methadone Committee be transitioned to a specialty panel of the Quality Assurance Committee. This change in governance structure provides the opportunity to better align assessments of methadone prescribers with the general approach of peer assessments for physicians. Changes to the current process will be phased in over time and communicated to prescribers and stakeholders prior to implementation. The College will also continue to identify, investigate and monitor high-risk opioid prescribing. This work is underscored with the awareness that while investigations may identify instances of risk of harm to patients of continued prescribing, there is also a very real risk of harm to patients of discontinuing prescribing. In order to balance the risks in these situations, the goal of investigations is to support continued prescribing when it is appropriate and informed by guidelines. We have more about the strategy on pages 9 and 22. Accepting New Patients and Ending the Physician-Patient Relationship Policies Council approved two updated policies that provide guidance on related issues of practice management – one on the acceptance of new patients into a practice, and the other detailing the considerations to be taken into account before deciding to end a physicianpatient relationship. The Accepting New Patients policy sets out physicians’ professional and legal obligations when accepting new patients, and emphasizes that physicians must accept new patients in a fair and professional manner. The revised Ending the Physician-Patient Relationship policy retains much of the key content and many of the central principles of the former policy, but it has been substantively updated to further emphasize physicians’ obligation to act in the best interest of their patients, and to provide more explicit guidance with respect to when it may or may not be appropriate to end the physician-patient relationship. We have articles about both policies in this issue. Compensation Committee The Compensation Committee has been eliminated as a standing committee of Council. The Executive Committee will be assuming the tasks previously performed by the prior Compensation Committee in reviewing Registrar performance and compensation. MD photo: claudia hung 16 Dialogue Issue 2, 2017