The issue in the present case, therefore, is whether the College’s irregular treatment of G.V.’s complaint and allowing the withdrawal of the complaint constituted a breach of its duty of fairness to the respondent despite a properly commenced Registrar-initiated investigation, encompassing the complaint made by G.V. If it did, then proceeding with the Registrar-initiated investigation would be an abuse of process and the College would have exceeded its jurisdiction, as found by the Divisional Court. However, in our view, it did not.The HPPC codifies well-established rules of natural justice and statutorily impose a duty of procedural fairness on the College, even at the investigatory stage of its processes. However, a failure to follow them does not automatically cause a loss of jurisdiction to process a complaint. Quoting the Discipline Committee with approval:
The Panel agrees that, on the surface, ‘abuse of process’ by the College may be a concern given the requirement to process the information in a timely manner. However, given the seriousness of the allegations against the Member and the potential for harm to the public, the irregular process used by the College, in this case, is not sufficient to warrant quashing the allegations against the Member.In addition, the OCA found no prejudice to the member. The College’s failure to abide by its own procedural guidelines did not create any prejudice. The hallmark is prejudice and none existed. At Wise Health Law,we focus on health and administrative law. Our lawyers have significant trial and appellate experience and are passionate about helping health professionals and healthcare organizations understand and protect their legal rights. Based on our highly-specialized knowledge and experience in healthcare litigation, we often receive referrals from other lawyers and legal professionals. Contact us online, or at 416-915-4234 for a consultation.
Earlier this year, Wise Health Law succeeded on a motion for summary judgment in a dental malpractice case on the basis that the limitation period had expired before the Statement of Claim was issued. The (unreported) decision was delivered orally on the day of the motion.
In part, the plaintiff argued that she did not discover her claim until the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (the “RCDSO” or “College”) rendered its decision, as she did not know if the defendant was negligent when she complained to the RCDSO, but merely had a “suspicion”.
In the midst of COVID-19, the proceedings of many health colleges, and consequently of the health professionals they regulate, have been in limbo while everyone finds a way forward.
On March 25, 2020, the Ontario government enacted the Hearings in Tribunal Proceedings (Temporary Measures) Act, 2020 (the “Act”) to help the process along.
The Act empowers statutory tribunals with more discretion over how proceedings before them are held.
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”?