The relatively new government in Ontario, through the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, has released the province's new Patient Declaration of Values. The document was prepared for the Ministry by the Minister’s Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). The PFAC is a formalized body that provides advice and recommendations to the Minister on matters relating to patients, families, caregivers and the health system.
As stated in their own news release:
The Declaration is a vision that articulates a path toward patient partnership across the health care system in Ontario. It describes a set of foundational principles that are considered from the perspective of Ontario patients and serves as a guidance document for those involved in our health care system.
The Declaration champions the shift for the role of patients, families and caregivers across the health care system in Ontario and outlines expectations about values, resources and supports that should be prioritized.
It is intended to serve as a guide at all levels of the health care system for the planning and delivery of health care policy, programs and services. The focus is on the patients and their becoming partners within the system.
The Declaration is grounded in five core elements that all deal with how health care should be delivered to patients. They are:
The document serves as a guide to the reasonable and necessary expectations of patients when receiving care. This was a consultive report with opportunities being made for input from patients, caregivers, volunteers and the community. Although many hospitals and care facilities have their own codes or standards in place, this is a province-wide declaration for all of Ontario. It will be interesting to see how it is used and by whom. It will no doubt be relied upon for standard of care arguments in the future.
At Wise Health Law, we rely on our significant experience with the complaint process for all health care professionals, our experience before discipline panels of various regulatory Colleges and Review Boards to provide our clients with exceptional guidance and representation through the often-overwhelming discipline process. We also have significant experience before the civil courts, enabling us to provide our clients with exceptional guidance and representation through the often-overwhelming negligence litigation process. To find out more about how we can help, contact us online, or at 416-915-4234for 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”?