Professional Misconduct: regulation of health professionals

Health care professionals face increasingly burdensome regulatory obligations in today’s consumer focussed marketplace.  Patient care is necessarily paramount, but the risk of regulatory scrutiny is correspondingly high, with tightening of regulations a continuing trend.  Rogerson Law Group’s Professional Misconduct and Disciplinary Tribunals team has years of experience advising clients, including health professional, who are on the wrong side of the regulator.

Regulation of health professionals

In Ontario, 21 types of health professionals are currently regulated, ranging from doctors and dentists, to audiologists and massage therapists. They are governed by their respective colleges which regulate the standards of members’ skills, knowledge and behavior.

Where professional conduct or disciplinary proceedings are taken against health professionals by their respective regulatory college, the implications are potentially huge.  Proceedings can be highly complex and, critically for the professional concerned, there is likely to be permanent reputational damage – whatever the outcome.

New rules

A number of important regulatory changes to the regulation of health care professionals are imminent.   Compliance by health professionals with both new and amended regulations, as well as existing regulations, is vital to avoid the risk of incurring the wrath of the regulators.

The changes include:

  • Prohibition of payments to blood donors except in specific circumstances (including the Canadian Blood Services, or where blood is given solely for research purposes (ie where blood is used/intended to be used to manufacture pharmaceuticals derived from blood). A breach by an individual could attract a fine of up to $50,000 for each day (or part of a day) on which the offence takes place.
  • Hospital pharmacies will be brought under the regulatory oversight of the Ontario College of Pharmacists who will have power to inspect hospital pharmacies to ensure they are compliant.
  • The ability of health profession colleges to share information with hospitals is to be broadened.
  • Mandatory reporting requirements to regulatory colleges of health professionals in Ontario are to be imposed. These will apply, for instance, where a physician resigns and it is suspected this relates to the physician’s competence, negligence or conduct.

How can we help?

Our experienced professional misconduct lawyers understand the seriousness of the potential implications on a health professional who is subject to regulatory or disciplinary investigations or proceedings.  Our team works hard to ensure our clients are treated fairly and sympathetically, and that proceedings are dealt with swiftly and cost effectively.  We ensure we are up to date with the legislation and regulatory rules so that we can advise our clients in the most effective way possible.

Further information about our Professional Misconduct and Disciplinary Tribunals work.