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Regulation changes: Protecting Patients Act, 2017, and the RHPA

As of May 1, 2018, new sections of the Protecting Patients Act, 2017 (Bill 87), which amend the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA), and three new regulations under the RHPA came into effect.

Definition of a patient

The new regulation expands the definition of a patient, for the purposes of sexual abuse. A patient includes any one of the following:
  • a person who received healthcare services from the member and payment is charged or received
  • an entry is made by the member to the health record for the person
  • the person has provided consent to a healthcare service recommended by the member
  • the member prescribed a drug for the person.
In other words, if any of the above interactions takes place between an individual and an MLT, then that individual would be considered, in the context of sexual abuse allegations, to be a patient. The regulation also establishes a minimum time period of one year after the end of a patient-professional relationship during which a sexual relationship between professionals and former patients are prohibited.

An exception to this definition applies only if all of the following conditions are satisfied:
  • there is, at the time the professional provides the healthcare services, an existing sexual relationship between the individual and the professional
  • the individual received a healthcare service from the professional in an emergency situation or in circumstances where the service is minor in nature
  • the professional has taken reasonable steps to transfer the care of the individual to another professional or there is no reasonable opportunity to transfer care to another member.
Mandatory reporting
All members are required to report criminal charges and release restriction including bail conditions or other restriction imposed on the member as soon as possible to the CMLTO.

Requirements to post on the public register

Colleges are now required to report certain information about their members on the Public Register, including:
  1. If there has been a finding of guilt made against a member under the Criminal Code or the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and certain information related to it.
  2. Any currently existing conditions of release following a charge for an offence under the Criminal Code or Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
  3. If a professional has been charged with an offence under the Criminal Code or the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the charge is outstanding.
  4. If a member has been the subject of a disciplinary finding by another regulatory or licensing authority in any jurisdiction.
  5. If a member is currently licensed or registered to practise another profession in Ontario or a profession in another jurisdiction.
Expansion of mandatory revocation provisions
The new regulation expands the mandatory revocation provision to include situations when a member has been found guilty of any of the following offences:
151 – Sexual interference
152 – Invitation to sexual touching
153 - Sexual exploitation
153.1 – Sexual exploitation of a person with a disability
160 (3) – Bestiality in the presence of, or by a child
162 – Voyeurism
162.1 – Publication, etc., of an intimate image without consent
163.1 – Child pornography
170 – Parent or guardian procuring sexual activity
171.1 – Making sexually explicit material available to a child
172.1 – Luring a child
172.2 – Agreement or arrangement – sexual offence against a child
271 – Sexual assault
272 – Sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm
273 – Aggravated sexual assault.
If a member has been found guilty of any of the above-noted criminal offences, their Certificate of Registration must be revoked by a panel of the Discipline Committee.

Protection Patients Act, 2017. Schedule 1, s 3, 4(3), 5 and Schedule 5, s. 5(1), (7), 6, 7, 18, 26, 27, 28, 31.
Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991. Schedule 2, Health Professions Procedural Code. Subsection 1 (6), 23(2) 51 (5.2) (a).

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