Ontario Introduces Legislation To Prevent Sexual Abuse of Patients

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Ontario has introduced legislation that would, if passed, further protect patients in Ontario and keep them healthy, including strengthening and reinforcing Ontario's zero tolerance policy on sexual abuse of patients by any regulated health professional.

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The Protecting Patients Act, 2016 includes legislative amendments that would, if passed:

  • Expand the list of acts of sexual abuse that will result in the mandatory revocation of a regulated health professional's license.
  • Remove the ability of a regulated health professional to continue to practice on patients of a specific gender after an allegation or finding of sexual abuse.
  • Increase access to patient therapy and counselling as soon as a complaint of sexual abuse by a regulated health professional is filed.
  • Ensure that all relevant information about regulated health professionals' current and past conduct is available to the public in an easy-to-access and transparent way.

Additional amendments contained in the Act would:

  • Help parents make informed decisions about immunizing their children and make it easier for parents to keep track of the vaccinations their kids are required to get in order to attend school.
  • Improve and modernize Elderly Persons Centres across the province, to help seniors stay healthy, active and engaged.
  • Make it easier and more convenient for people to be reimbursed for certain prescriptions that are written by nurse practitioners.
  • Continue to ensure that community laboratory services are safe and effective by updating inspection provisions and streamlining licensing requirements.