Toronto, ON, May 3 2017
– If passed without amendments, Bill 87 will negatively affect the delivery of patient care and compromise the privacy of individual physician’s personal health information, said Dr. Rachel Forman, spokesperson for the Ontario Medical Association (OMA).
Dr. Forman has been calling on government to make changes to Bill 87, on behalf of Ontario’s 29,000 doctors.
Today at a Committee Hearing for Bill 87 Dr. Audrey Karlinsky, an OMA Board member, presented a number of necessary amendments to Bill 87, including:
- Preserving due process and natural justice for physicians at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) level;
- Limiting the Minister of Health’s ability to access physicians’ personal health information;
- Eliminating new administrative and paperwork requirements being introduced with changes to the Immunization of School Pupils Act; and rules around “Specimen Collection Centres.”
“One of the most concerning aspects of Bill 87 for physicians is that it allows for a license to be suspended immediately upon the college’s receipt of the complaint,” said Dr. Karlinsky. “This is unlike any other area of the judicial system - an individual deserves the right to respond to complaint and defend him or herself before being penalized.”
Ontario’s doctors support a zero tolerance policy for any type of sexual abuse and support working with all stakeholders to improve systems shortcomings. The current system is in need of improvements, for example, the CPSO adjudication process takes too long.
“If Bill 87 passes, without significant changes, physicians may opt not to seek medical help for themselves if they believe their personal health records could be accessed without consent,” said Dr. Karlinsky.
“It is entirely unclear to us why the highest levels of government need access to individual health records. Surely the government can assess the effectiveness of colleges without breaching the privacy rights of 30,000 Ontarians.”
Other parts of Bill 87 introduce administrative changes with unintended consequences, such as more paper-work for doctors for immunization reporting and surveillance, instead of prioritizing a fully operable immunization registry.
The bill would also introduce new compliance requirements around ‘Specimen Collection Centres,’ which creates unnecessary bureaucracy. These changes will make it harder for doctors to offer specimen collection services (such as blood, urine, saliva) to patients. The introduction of new compliance requirements might make providing the service unsustainable in community clinics.
“Ontarians need a high-performing health-care system to meet the needs of all patients across the province” said Dr. Forman. “The OMA is willing to work together with government and other stakeholders to design a fair and efficient regulatory system that truly protects patients.”
For a copy of the OMA’s Oral Presentation to the Standing Committee on Bill 87 please click here.
For more information, please contact:
Manager Media Relations
Office: 416-340-2970 or 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2970
Senior Advisor Media Relations
Office: 416-599-2580 or 1-800-268-7215 ext. 3008