Taking Action to Safeguard the Integrity of the Health Care System
Ontario Protecting the Voluntary Blood Donor Model and Enhancing Drug Safety
Ontario is introducing legislation to safeguard the integrity of the province's health care system.
The proposed Safeguarding Health Care Integrity Act, 2014, combines two bills that were previously introduced but that did not pass before the dissolution of the legislature in the spring.
The legislation, if passed, would protect the current model of voluntary donations for blood and plasma. It would prohibit payments to individuals for their blood and plasma, including reimbursement of expenses or other forms of compensation.
The proposed act would also respond to a key recommendation made by Dr. Jake Thiessen's review of Ontario's cancer drug supply system. This legislation would strengthen the safety of drugs provided to patients in the province's hospitals and expand the oversight of regulated health professionals in Ontario by:
- Allowing for the inspection and licensing of hospital pharmacies by the Ontario College of Pharmacists.
- Enabling health regulatory colleges to share more information with hospitals and public health authorities.
- Expanding mandatory reporting requirements to help colleges identify and respond more effectively to issues regarding a health professional's practice.
Protecting the current model of voluntary blood donations and strengthening the safety of Ontario's cancer drug supply system supports the government's commitment to maintain the integrity of our health care system.
- Canada is completely self-sufficient in its supply of plasma used for transfusions.
- Dr. Thiessen was appointed in April 2013 by the Ontario government to conduct a review in response to the discovery of under-dosing of chemotherapy drugs at four Ontario hospitals and one in New Brunswick.
- On Aug. 17, 2013 the government released Dr. Thiessen’s report which laid out 12 recommendations that the government endorsed.
- The act, to be introduced later today, is a combination of the Enhancing Patient Care and Pharmacy Safety (Statute Law Amendment) Act, 2013, originally introduced on Oct. 10, 2013, and the Voluntary Blood Donations Act, originally introduced on March 20, 2014.
“Our government is taking decisive action to keep Ontario’s blood and plasma donation system voluntary and make our province’s drug system safer for patients. This legislation will help ensure that the pillars of Ontario’s health care system remain strong.”
“Canadian Blood Services has successfully managed the blood and blood products supply for Ontarians for more than 15 years. We are confident in the safety and sustainability of the current blood and blood products system in Canada, and we recognize Ontario’s role in preserving voluntary blood and plasma donation in this province.”
Dr. Graham Sher
“Expanding the oversight and inspection authority of the College of Pharmacists to include hospital pharmacies will help ensure the drug supply is monitored and inspected more closely, with the same rigorous standards across the province.”
“I applaud Minister Hoskins for re-introducing this bill to make it illegal to pay for blood in Ontario, and it would be prudent for other provinces, as well as Health Canada, to follow his lead. I know that my late husband, James Kreppner, would commend the Ontario government for protecting the voluntary blood donation system.”
Antonia Swann (Smudge)