Dialogue Volume 13 Issue 1 2017 | Page 9


Targeting sexual abuse

Bill 87 includes provisions to better protect patients photo : masterfile

Bill 87 – the Protecting Patients Act – is the government ’ s response to the recommendations made by the Minister ’ s Sexual Abuse Task Force ( SATF ). The wide-ranging Bill also includes the government ’ s response to transparency and the recommendations made by Hon . Stephen Goudge in his review of the physician complaint process . If passed , the Bill will amend the Regulated Health Professions Act , 1991 ( RHPA ) and four other healthrelated Acts . Throughout its Sexual Abuse Initiative and its efforts to support the SATF , the College has expressed its commitment to protect patients from sexual abuse by physicians , to review and improve our processes and practices , and to ensure patients have the support and information they need . Over the past several years , Council has advanced a number of recommendations for legislative change to help strengthen the existing legislative framework , particularly as it pertains to protecting patients from sexual abuse . Council has also advocated for legislative change

Bill 87 to ensure the effectiveness and integrity of College processes . Several legislative proposals advanced by the College to strengthen the provisions to protect patients from sexual abuse are incorporated in the Bill . Some of the most significant changes in the Bill relate to sexual abuse . The following are the sexual abuse provisions proposed :
a ) College Processes , Functions and Duties Bill 87 allows the Minister to develop regulations specifying how colleges are to perform its functions dealing with complaints , reports , discipline and incapacity matters when the matter involves misconduct of a sexual nature . The Minister would also be able to set out additional functions and duties for the colleges .
These provisions appear to have been included to address a recommendation by the SATF to improve colleges ’ complaints , investigations and discipline processes pertaining to sexual abuse and to ensure consistency in processes amongst the health colleges . The Minister has indicated that an expert advisor will be appointed to
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