Dialogue Volume 13 Issue 3 2017 - Page 53

DISCIPLINE SUMMARIES notified of this suspension, Dr. Clowater continued to practise during this time. On September 7, 2011, the College sent Dr. Clowater a Notice of Suspension of Certificate of Registration advising her that her certificate of regis- tration was suspended for non-payment of fees. The Notice stated that if Dr. Clowater wished to resume practise in Ontario, she would have to apply to the College for reinstatement. The Notice also advised her that, if she were to reapply, her reinstatement would not be automatic; rather, it would take time to review and process her reinstatement application. Lastly, this September 7, 2011 Notice instructed Dr. Clowater not to resume practise until the College had advised her that her certificate had been issued. The College received Dr. Clowater’s reinstatement application fee on September 19, 2011. College staff emailed Dr. Clowater on September 28, 2011 to advise that her application was incomplete and that she therefore was not authorized to practise medi- cine. The College staff member asked Dr. Clowater to confirm whether she had practised medicine after September 7, 2011. Dr. Clowater emailed the College staff member back on September 28, 2011, saying, “I have not been practicing since september (sic.) 7th 2011. I am awaiting your email to resume practice.” Dr. Clowater later acknowledged that the statement that she had not practised since September 7, 2011 was untrue. Lapse of Professional Liability Coverage Dr. Clowater practised medicine without profes- sional liability coverage between November 1, 2010 and June 17, 2011. She submitted claims to OHIP for the period during which she did not have cover- age. In response to a College inquiry regarding her lapse in professional liability coverage, Dr. Clowater claimed that she first became aware that there had been a period of time during which her professional liability membership had not been in good stead after she received the College’s October 2013 letter. This was not true. REASONS FOR PENALTY Counsel for the College and counsel for Dr. Clowater agreed that certain penalty elements were appropri- ate in the circumstances, namely that Dr. Clowater should be reprimanded, complete a course in medical ethics, and pay the costs of the one-day hearing at the tariff rate of $5,000. The parties, however, did not agree on whether a suspension of Dr. Clowater’s certificate of regi stration was appropriate. Counsel for the College submitted that a four-month suspension was appropriate while counsel for Dr. Clowater submitted that she should not be suspended. Practising with Suspended Certificate Dr. Clowater admitted that she practised without a certificate of registration, which is contrary to the Regulated Health Professions Act. Dr. Clowater admit- ted to seeing 90 patients at her private office between September 15 and 28, 2011 while her certificate of registration was suspended. The Committee understands that the penalty over- all must be proportional to the misconduct. In the view of the Committee, the act of practising while her certificate of registration was suspended is suf- ficiently serious that a suspension is required. Dr. Clowater was fully aware of the pending sus- pension of her certificate of registration, as illustrated by the College’s repeated attempts to have her com- ply with paying her membership fee, clearly outlining her options, and repeatedly giving her notice that she would be suspended if she did not pay her fee. This included repeated letters, emails and telephone calls/ voice mails from June 1, 2011, when her member- ship fees were due, up until the date of suspension of her certificate of registration, on September 7, 2011. During this period, Dr. Clowater was either unresponsive or would indicate that payment was forthcoming. Dr. Clowater made untrue statements in delay- ing and deferring paying for her annual dues in her responses to the College’s attempts to have her comply. On August 16, 2011, the College spoke to Dr. Clowater as well as her husband. Her husband advised the College that he would fax the credit card information to the College that afternoon. When no information was received, the College again tele- Full decisions are available online at www.cpso.on.ca. Select Doctor Search and enter the doctor’s name. ISSUE 3, 2017 DIALOGUE 53