The Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario has issued an updated Directive #2 (dated May 26, 2020) for Regulated Health Professionals in the province.
Pursuant to the updated Directive #2, all deferred non-essential and elective services by health care providers may be gradually restarted – subject to the rest of the requirements set out in the Directive.
The updated Directive #2 does not provide particularly detailed guidance to health professionals on how to proceed, likely because it applies to such a broad spectrum of health care and health professionals. It does, however, provide some principles to assist health care providers in making decisions as we enter this transitional period:
The updated Directive #2 expressly recognizes that health care providers are in the best position to determine which services should continue to be provided remotely and which in person (again, likely because of the breadth and variety of situations involved).
However, that does not mean that health professionals are free to make whatever decisions they want, without restriction or oversight. Decisions must be guided by and comply with the requirements, principles, and expectations of the Directive #2 and the professional’s respective governing College. The updated Directive expressly states that Health Care Providers should be guided by best clinical evidence and must adhere to the guidance of their College.
Before making any decision on how to transition back, health professionals should check the website of their respective College for the most up-to-date statement of expectations or restrictions.
In general terms, the following considerations should also be kept in mind:
NOTE: This blog was written on May 28, 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 arechanging so rapidly.
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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.
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Last week, the Minister of Health made additional changes to the Regulated Health Professions Act relevant to pharmacy professionals. Now, members of the Ontario College of Pharmacists — including pharmacists, interns, registered pharmacy students, or pharmacy technicians — can administer coronavirus vaccines by injection. These individuals must be certified to administer vaccines and must do so while being engaged by an organization that has an agreement with the Minister governing the administration of the vaccine (e.g., a hospital).