Changes to the Mandatory Blood Testing Act Will Put People First
TORONTO - Ontario's Government is working for the people to protect emergency first responders, medical professionals, victims of crime, and good Samaritans with recent changes to the Mandatory Blood Testing Act (MBTA). Accidental exposure to the bodily substances of others is a risk in many frontline jobs, and an unfortunate consequence for victims of crime and citizens coming to the aid of others in emergencies.
"By putting people first, our government is making common sense changes that protect those whose job it is to protect the people of Ontario," said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. "Every day, police officers, paramedics, healthcare workers, correctional staff, and many others go to work to ensure the wellbeing of others. If we're going to rely on these heroes being there for us, they need to know their government will be there for them."
Once fully implemented, these changes will shorten the timelines after someone has come into contact with the bodily substance of another person and increase penalties for non-compliance. These changes will be supported by improved communication with applicants and standardized procedures across the province.
"Our government is fully committed to our first responders and health care workers," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "Every day, they deal with challenging situations to keep Ontarians safe. This new law responds to their needs and will support those who protect us every day."
- The MBTA was enacted in 2007.
- The act allows individuals who have come into contact with the bodily substances of another person to make an application under the act to determine the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C status of the source individual. An applicant can access the process if the incident occurred as a result of:
- being a victim of crime,
- providing emergency health care services or emergency first aid, or
- in the course of his or her duties, if the person belongs to a prescribed class.
- On March 26, 2019, the government passed Bill 68, the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019, which included amendments to the MBTA. The MBTA changes will modernize the mandatory blood testing process through improved timeline, enforcement, provincial oversight and service delivery changes.