Dialogue Volume 13 Issue 3 2017 - Page 23

LEGISLATION The Impact of Bill 87 What does the Protecting Patients Act mean for physicians? B ill 87, which was passed in May 2017, is an important piece of legislation for Ontario’s patients and for all health regulatory colleges who regulate Ontario’s health professions in the public interest. Bill 87, the Protecting Patients Act strengthens the sexual abuse and transparency provisions in the Regu- lated Health Professions Act (RHPA), and changes how we move forward in the complaints, investigation and discipline processes. Throughout our own Sexual Abuse Initiative, the Col- lege has expressed its commitment to protect patients from sexual abuse by physicians. We reviewed and improved our processes and practices, and will continue to look for opportunities to ensure patients have the support and information they need. Some of the amendments contained in Bill 87 are now in force. Other changes have yet to be proclaimed, with many of these changes likely coming into effect when the Minister utilizes new regulation-making authority. We report below on the provisions that we believe will have the greatest impact on physicians. PROVISIONS NOW IN FORCE: Mandatory Revocation The list of acts of sexual abuse specified in the Code that will result in mandatory revocation has been expanded. The added acts include: touching of the patient’s geni- tals, anus, breasts or buttocks (subject to the clinically appropriate exception). These acts will be subject to the ISSUE 3, 2017 DIALOGUE 23