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Ontario Introduces Legislation To Prevent Sexual Abuse of Patients

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Ontario Introduces Legislation To Prevent Sexual Abuse of Patients

Protecting Patients Act Would Ensure Health and Safety of Patients and Families

Ministry of Health

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. 

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.

Ensuring the health and safety of all patients is part of the government's plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which is providing patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to stay healthy and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come. 

Quick Facts

  • With this legislation, the government is able to introduce amendments to several statutes at one time, to ensure that patients in Ontario are healthy and safe.
  • The re-introduction of the Immunization of School Pupils Act and the Seniors Active Living Centres Act are part of Ontario's commitment to re-introduce all government bills that were before the legislature in spring 2016, so that debate on important issues may continue.

Additional Resources


“The initiatives outlined in the Protecting Patients Act are part of our government’s Patients First strategy to protect Ontario’s health care system for generations to come. For example, our strategy will ensure patients have the information they need to protect themselves from preventable disease, and ensure our health care system is protecting patients from sexual abuse by health professionals.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“We are pleased to see government taking a positive first step to protect patients from sexual abuse and support survivors of sexual abuse by health professionals. We look forward to continuing to work with government to make progress on all the recommendations from To Zero: Independent Report of the Minister's Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Patients and the Regulated Health Professions Act.”

Farrah Khan and Sly Castaldi, co-chairs of Ontario's Roundtable on Violence Against Women

and Sheila Macdonald, member of Ontario’s Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Patients and the Regulated Health Professions Act

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