Dialogue Volume 13 Issue 2 2017 - Page 29

policy matters First-come, first served approach clarified in policy C ouncil has approved a policy that sets out how the first-come, first-served approach to accepting new patients applies in various practice settings. Council approved the Accepting New Patients policy following an external consul- tation (see below). During the consultation, many respondents expressed support for the policy require- ment that physicians accept new patients on a first-come, first-served basis, particularly as a means to prevent discrimination. This support was also illustrated in the results of an accompanying survey, with approximately 77% of survey respondents agreeing that the first-come, first-served approach helps physi- cians to satisfy their legal obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code. The policy clarifies that the first-come, first-served approach does not prevent physi- cians from determining when their practice is “closed” and therefore not accepting new patients. Physicians, however, must make these determinations in good faith. The policy also sets out limited excep- tions to the first-come, first served rule. For example, physicians may limit the health services they provide based on their own clini- cal competence and/or scope of practice. If External Consultation Dates held: Dec. 12, 2016 - Feb. 10, 2017 # of Respondents: 108 Breakdown of respondents: Changes Made in Response to 78% physicians Feedback: 11% public 6% organizations 5% other health- care organizations YES NO Issue 2, 2017 Dialogue 29