Effective 11:59 p.m. on March 24, 2020, the Ontario government ordered the closure of “non-essential” workplaces. The list of “essential” workplaces included “health care professionals providing emergency care including dentists, optometrists and physiotherapists”.
The College of Chiropractors of Ontario (“CCO”) interprets this list as including chiropractors, and we agree.
So the question becomes – what is “emergency care”?
The CCO’s website has helpful information and ongoing updates as to the CCO’s interpretation of what constitutes “emergency care”. We expect that, within reason, the province would defer to the CCO in interpreting “emergency care” as it relates to chiropractic practice.
Currently, the CCO has defined “emergency care” as including the following:
The CCO also notes generally that the member needs to weigh the value of treatment against the risk when deciding to treat a patient.
In terms of risk assessment, you need to consider the risks of treatment not only to the patient and yourself, but also to other patients, staff and - at this time of collective physical distancing - the public at large.
Before deciding to treat, in addition to determining whether the proposed treatment constitutes “emergency care”, perform active screening of the patient for COVID-19 risk factors in advance and over the phone before scheduling the in-person treatment sessions. Do not treat if you yourself have travelled in the previous 14 days, have symptoms of COVID-19, or have come into contact with individuals who have been diagnosed with or deemed to be a presumptive case of COVID-19.
If you do decide to treat, manage your risk by doing the following:
NOTE: This blog was written on March 25, 2020, and was current as of that date. A blog post is never a substitute for legal advice specific to your situation, and that is particularly so when circumstances are changing so rapidly.Wise Health Law is deemed by the province to be an “essential” service. While we are working remotely, we are diligently monitoring email and voicemail, and remain available to assist our clients.
As of July 1, 2021, all Ontario long-term care homes must implement COVID-19 immunization policies for their staff, students, and volunteers — regardless of the frequency or duration of these individuals’ attendance in a home. Current staff, students, and volunteers will have until July 31, 2021 to meet the policy requirements, subject to reasonable extension for unforeseen circumstances. Newly hired individuals will have 30 days from the first day they begin attending at the home.
It is no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the delivery of health services and the regulation of various health professions.
In a welcomed move, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) Council recently approved a new registration policy allowing the Registration Committee to issue a Certificate of Registration authorizing Independent Practice to applicants who have not completed Part II of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE).
The test for the standard of care in medical negligence cases has remained untouched since the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1995 decision in ter Neuzen v. Korn.
On January 18, 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada heard the appeal in Armstrong v. Ward. Their unanimous decision maintains the status quo with respect to the standard of care in medical negligence cases.