Dialogue Volume 13 Issue 3 2017 - Page 25

LEGISLATION Mandatory Suspension as a New Minimum Penalty for Sexual Abuse The Act provides that a panel of the Discipline Committee must suspend a member’s certificate of registration where it makes a finding of sexual abuse unless the penalty ordered was revocation. For example, if the sexual abuse consisted of remarks of a sexual nature, with no other findings, the penalty must include, at a minimum, a suspension. Mandatory Reports for Sexual Abuse The Act increases fines for those who have failed to make a mandatory report regarding sexual abuse. The fine for failure for a member to report sexual abuse is in- creased from not more than $25,000 to not more than $50,000. When a regulated health-care professional has reason- able grounds, obtained in the course of practising the profession, to believe that another regulated health-care professional has sexually abused a patient, they must file a report in writing with the Registrar of the college to which the alleged abuser belongs. The College’s Manda- tory and Permissive Reporting policy further describes the reporting obligation and provides guidance about how to file such a report. Increased Information on a Health Regulatory College’s Register The Act also includes a number of transparency related amendments - most of which this College had proactively addressed through its Transparency Initiative over the last several years. What is new to the College, however, is the notation of cases where no finding was made in a discipline hear- ing, that is, the allegations against the member were not proved. Previously, we had reported in Dialogue on the outcome of these cases without identifying the physician. Now, in cases where no finding of professional misconduct or incompetence is made against the physician, this result, and the reasons for it, are posted to the member’s profile on the public register for 90 days and then removed – un- less the physician specifically requests otherwise before the 90 days expires. Collection of Information by the Colleges for the Minister and Others The provisions expand the requirement for colleges to collect information, at the request of the Minister, directly from members of the college as is reasonably necessary for the purpose of not only health human resources planning but now also for research in respect of health human resources planning. The Minister may only use or disclose this information for these purposes. This information could include personal information about members, but does not include personal health information. The Minister will not collect personal information if other information will serve its purposes. PROVISIONS NOT YET IN FORCE: Definition of Patient for the Purposes of Sexual Abuse The word “patient”, in relation to an act of sexual abuse, will be defined to include any individual who was a member’s patient within one year from the date on which the individual ceased to be the member’s patient, or a period longer than that if a regulation is passed ISSUE 3, 2017 DIALOGUE 25