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The Protecting Patients Act, 2016

Backgrounder

The Protecting Patients Act, 2016

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

The Protecting Patients Act would, if passed, amend four statutes and enact one new statute to support Ontario's Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care.  

Regulated Health Professions Act

Ontario is proposing legislative amendments to strengthen, uphold and further reinforce a zero tolerance policy on patient sexual abuse by any regulated health professional.

Acts of professional misconduct involving the sexual abuse of a patient are always unacceptable. The relationship between a patient and their regulated health professional must be built upon a foundation of trust, confidence, and safety.

The proposed amendments would strengthen measures to protect patients, support victims of sexual abuse by regulated health professionals and improve regulatory oversight and accountability, including:

  • Expanding the list of acts that would result in the mandatory revocation of a regulated health professional's certificate of registration
  • Removing the ability of a college to impose gender-based restrictions on a regulated health professional's certificate of registration
  • Increasing fines for health professionals and organizations that fail to report an allegation of  patient sexual abuse to a college
  • Increasing transparency by adding to what colleges must report on their public registries and websites
  • Establishing a minimum time period after the end of a patient-provider relationship during which sexual relations are prohibited 
  • Increasing timely access to funding for patient therapy and counselling when a complaint of patient sexual abuse is made.

Immunization of School Pupils Amendment Act

There are some immunizations that children must receive in order to attend school, to protect themselves, as well as the other children at their school against certain vaccine-preventable diseases. Ontario is proposing legislative changes that would, if passed, help parents who may wish to exempt their kids from these immunizations, make evidence-based decisions. The proposed amendments would require parents to complete an education session before they could exempt their child from mandatory immunizations for non-medical reasons.

Ontario is also proposing changes that would help parents to keep track of the immunizations that their child has received. Currently, parents and guardians are responsible for reporting the vaccines that their child had received to their local public health unit.

The proposed changes would require doctors, and other health professionals who administer vaccines, to report any vaccines they administer to children and youth -- and that are needed to attend school in Ontario -- to their local public health unit directly.

Seniors Active Living Centres Act

Ontario is making improvements to Elderly Persons' Centres across the province, to help seniors stay healthy, active and engaged. These centres support more than 100,000 seniors per year with activities ranging from fitness and cooking classes, to meals on wheels, falls prevention and transportation services.

The province is proposing legislative changes that would, if passed, give centres more flexibility to use their resources in ways that makes sense for local seniors. This legislation would help centres build strong partnerships to strengthen the services they offer, encouraging them to act as community hubs that provide a central access point for a range of health, social and cultural services.

Ontario Drug Benefit Act

Ontario is proposing changes that would make it easier for people to be reimbursed for certain prescriptions that are written by nurse practitioners.

The province is proposing amendments to the Ontario Drug Benefit Act that would, if passed, allow products such as diabetes testing strips and nutritional products prescribed by nurse practitioners to be reimbursed under the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Program.

The proposed amendments, if passed, would also enable nurse practitioners to submit a funding application to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for drug products for specific ODB recipients under the Exceptional Access Program (EAP), which facilitates patient access to drugs not funded on the ODB Formulary, or where no listed alternative is available.

Laboratory and Specimen Collection Centre Licensing Act; Health Insurance Act; and Public Hospitals Act

To support modernization of the community laboratory sector, proposed amendments to the Laboratory and Specimen Collection Centre Licensing Act and the Health Insurance Act, if passed, would give the ministry more flexibility in regulating the community laboratory sector.

Amendments to the Public Hospitals Act, if passed, would allow for hospitals to be designated to provide community laboratory services in addition to the laboratory services they provide to admitted in-patients and registered out-patients.

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