Dialogue Volume 12 Issue 4 2016 | Page 37

mandatory reports

Your patient says she was inappropriately touched by a doctor

What is your obligation ? photo : istockphoto . com

Your patient has just told you that the rheumatologist to whom you had recently referred her had touched her breast during a physical exam in a way that she felt was inappropriate and sexual in nature . What is your obligation ? Without a doubt , you must file a report with the College Registrar . Under the Regulated Health Professions Act ( RHPA ), when a patient provides you with information that gives you reasonable grounds to believe that they have been sexually abused by a physician or another regulated health professional – as this patient just did – you have a duty to make a mandatory report . Under the RHPA , the report must be made in writing to the Registrar of the college to which the health professional in question belongs . “ This is not optional ,” said Dr . Rocco Gerace , College Registrar . “ The legislation is clear on this issue – you need to act in the public interest and let the Registrar know of the incident .” Where information regarding sexual abuse is obtained from the patient , physicians must

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