Updates to CPSO physician behaviour policy

By Lonny Rosen and Elyse Sunshine . Following public consultation, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (the College) updated its policy on Physician Behaviour in the Professional Environment in May 2016 . This policy sets out the College’s expectation that physicians working in a professional capacity act in a respectful, courteous and civil manner towards their patients, colleagues and others involved in the provision of health care and not engage in unprofessional and/or disruptive behaviour. In essence, the amendments to the policy clarify and simplify, but do not alter, existing principles and expectations. In this blog post, we review what has specifically changed in the most recent version of the policy and, in doing so, aim to provide a reminder to physicians of their responsibilities in the workplace. Read more

McCain annulment case points to health law issue

A court’s decision relating to the admissibility of a psychiatrist's report in a high-profile annulment case in Ontario has underscored that complaints or discipline processes under the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) should not be used by parties to advance their interests in civil litigation or any other dispute, says Toronto health lawyer Lonny Rosen. Read more

Rosen: investigation and discovery in tribunal proceedings

When representing professionals in a disciplinary matter, counsel should begin their assessment of the case by reviewing the Notice of Hearing and breaking down the elements of each offence alleged as a way of “formulating the theory of the case," says Toronto health lawyer Lonny Rosen . Read more

Expert panel on health-care procurement a move toward consolidation

It is prudent that Ontario is looking at further consolidating the procurement process of goods and services for health care through the Health-care Sector Supply Chain Strategy Expert Panel, says Toronto health lawyer Michael Gleeson. Read more

Wrong for physicians to have business relationship with patients

The suspension of an Ontario doctor for soliciting more than $700,000 in loans from his patients underscores how wrong it is for physicians to enter into any sort of business relationship with people in their care, says Toronto health lawyer Elyse Sunshine . Read more

Compliance with new harassment laws under the OHSA

By Maria McDonald. On Sept. 8, 2016, significant amendments to the harassment provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) came into effect. See my previous blog. Read more

The essentials of a privacy breach management protocol

By Lonny Rosen and Elyse Sunshine . Under Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA), all health care service providers are responsible for protecting the personal health information in their custody or control, and for appropriately responding to privacy breaches as soon as they arise. In addition to their PHIPA obligations, individuals and organizations that provide health care (health information custodians) are expected to comply with the standards set by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) surrounding the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information. Read more

Massive hospital privacy breach highlights self-reporting requirements

A “massive criminal scheme” that violated the privacy of thousands of patients in the Rouge Valley Health System serves as an important reminder to health professionals — nurses in particular — not only to comply with privacy obligations but also about mandatory professional requirements to self-report criminal and other charges, says Toronto health lawyer Elyse Sunshine . Read more

Important changes coming to Ontario's OHSA in September

Amendments to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) are coming into effect Sept. 8 and health-care organizations need to pay particular attention to how workplace investigations will become mandatory for all harassment complaints, human resources lawyer Maria McDonald says. Read more

Business arrangements may attract college scrutiny

By Lonny Rosen and Elyse Sunshine . In our health law practice, we are often asked to provide advice with respect to whether the proposed business arrangements of health professionals are compliant with the rules regarding conflicts of interest. Each health regulatory college in Ontario defines and prohibits conflicts of interest for their members through a combination of regulations, by-laws and college policies. For physicians, the rules regarding conflicts of interest are set out in s. 15 to 17 of Regulation 114/94 made under the Medicine Act, 1991 (the Regulation). Read more

Doctors must be sensitive to ‘growing’ trend

A recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on women’s pubic hair grooming highlights a health issue that physicians may want to raise with patients, but it is important they are culturally sensitive when broaching it, says Toronto health lawyer Elyse Sunshine . Read more

Guidance for health professionals: how (not) to delegate

By Lonny Rosen and Elyse Sunshine . The focus of today’s blog post is the delegation of patient care by regulated health professionals. We thought this would be a good topic to touch on in light of a decision of the discipline committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) from last year in which a physician’s certificate of registration was suspended as a result of her failure to appropriately delegate care to and supervise unlicensed practitioners. Read more