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.
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.
In addition to the mask and hand sanitizer shortages, Ontario’s response to COVID-19 highlights the need for more frontline health care workers. Each regulated health profession’s college responded differently, and we have discussed some of those changes in other posts to keep you apprised.
Today, we focus on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), who set out to increase the number of available and licenced physicians out on the frontlines through certificates of registration that authorize supervised practice of short duration. The temporary licences authorize practice for 30 days.
Undoubtedly, COVID-19 has affected how health professionals practice. Pharmacists across the country are not only experiencing changes in how they practice (for example, accepting emailed prescriptions, where appropriate) but the scope of their practice as well. The latter change is not permanent, although the disruptions in practice may be felt long after the COVID-19 emergency subsides.
On March 19, 2020, Health Canada issued a short-term section 56(1) exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) that would authorize pharmacists to prescribe, sell, or provide controlled substances in limited circumstances, or transfer prescriptions for controlled substances (the CDSA Exemption).