A weekly scan of new legislation and regulations important to the Ontario health sector, as well as articles of interest.
Bill 160 – Strengthening Quality and Accountability for Patients Act, 2017
Introduced by Hon. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, the Bill was carried on First Reading on September 27, 2017.
This Bill amends, repeals and enacts various health-care related bills to strengthen quality and accountability for patients:
- Ambulance Act
- Amendments are made in respect of directives by the Minister, appointment of Directors, powers of inspectors and investigator, disclosures, paramedics, fee rules, definitions and regulation making authority.
- If passed, paramedics are given increased flexibility to deliver alternative care options on-scene to patients, avoiding unnecessary visits to the emergency department.
- Excellent Care for All Act, 2010
- Ontario Health Quality Council (the “Council”) can lease office space without obtaining Lieutenant Governor in Council’s approval
- Permit the Council to collect, use, and disclose PHI for purposes to be prescribed by regulations
- Create exemption from application of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for records in custody/control of the Council that were prepared or obtained by the patient ombudsman in the course of conducting an investigation within meaning of section 13.3 of the Excellent Care for All Act, 2010.
- Allow the government to make regulations specifying purposes for which Health Quality Ontario may collect, use and disclose PHI in its yearly reports
- Health Protection and Promotion Act
- Replacing terms, adding Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion as a recipient of reports regarding diseases and events, extending dismissal notice and attendant rights of medical officers of health to associate medical officers of health, remove approval requirements for an acting medical officer of health appointed by a board of health, Minister may issues orders relating to new or emerging diseases and provisions related to such orders, amend matters subject to Lieutenant Governor in Council and Minister regulations, and remove transition provisions.
- If passed, HPPA, would permit regulation of recreational water facilities like splash pads and pools to protect infants and children. It would also regulate personal service settings like barber shops, nails salons, and tattoo parlours to better prevent infection.
- Health Sector Payment Transparency Act, 2017
- This is a new Act and has been getting a lot of coverage in the media. The purpose of this Act is to require the reporting of information about the financial relationships that exist in Ontario’s health care system, including health care research and education , and to enable the collection, analysis and publication of that information in order to strengthen transparency.
- The Act requires certain transactions to be reported to the Minister who will analyze and publish the information and it also establishes a framework for inspections and other compliance mechanisms.
- The Act provides for periodic review by the Minister.
- The medical industry would have to report all information about transfer of value, which include meals, hospitality, travel associated expenses and financial grants. This information would be available online, and can be accessed by the public.
- Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007
- “Secure units” provisions are repealed and a new system is enacted to deal with the restraining and confining of residents.
- System of administrative penalties are provided for, Director and Minister is given power to suspend a license. The Minister may also make operational and policy directives in respect of long-term care homes.
- Health Care-Consent Act, 1996
- Act is amended to provide rules with respect to confining in a care facility, and respecting reviews by the Consent and Capacity Board.
- Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004
- Related amendments are made to PHIPA
- Substitute Decisions Act, 1992
- Related amendments are made to SDA
- Medical Radiation and Imaging Technology Act, 2017
- This Act repeals and replaces the Medical Radiation Technology Act, 1991. This Act governs the practice of medical radiation and imaging technology.
- Ontario Drug Benefit Act
- This Act is amended to specify that regulations are not required in order for the Minister and the executive officer to disclose personal information.
- 23(3)(b) is repealed and replaced to make a change relating to establishing reimbursements criteria for certain drug benefits listed on the ODB Formulary. Currently, section 23 of the ODBA indicates the reimbursement criteria for these benefits could include a requirement that the use of a drug be prescribed by a physician or member of a class of physicians specified by the executive officer. The amendment provides the executive officer to establish the reimbursement criteria relating to any prescriber or class of prescribers and not only physicians.
- Ontario Mental Health Foundation Act
- This Act is repealed, and consequential amendments are made to other Acts.
- Oversight of Health Facilities and Devices Act, 2017
- Regulatory system is established for community health facilities and energy applying and detecting medical devices such as X-ray machines, CT scanners, ultrasounds and MRIs.
- The position of executive officer for the regulatory system is created.
- Inspecting bodies are made to carry out functions with respect to community health facilities.
- Wide range of enforcement tools are provided for.
- Independent Health Facilities Act, Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act and the Private Hospitals Act are repealed.
- Retirement Homes Act, 2010
- The Act is amended to allow the Minister, if it believes it is within public interest to do so, to unilaterally amend the MOU between the Minister and the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (“Authority”) after giving the Authority the notice that the Minister considers reasonable in the circumstances.
- The Minister may require the Authority to:
- Establish advisory committees and policy, legislative or regulatory reviews related to the Authority be carried out.
- Make available to the public certain information relating to the compensation for members of its boards of directors or officers or employees of the Authority.
- Auditor General may audit the Authority
- 70 of the Act is made more specific regarding the permitted confinement of residents of a retirement home.
- Power of an investigator under s. 80 of the Act to conduct investigations under a warrant are expanded
- Registrar may apply to the Superior Court of Justice for an order directing a person to comply with a provision of the Act or the regulations made under it or with an order made under the Act. Upon application, the court may make any order that the court thinks fit.
For more information about the Bill: http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=5096
News Release by MOHLTC: https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2017/09/ontario-improving-transparency-in-health-care.html
Ontario Regulation 358/17
O.REG 358/17 is an amending regulation of RRO 1990, REG 460 under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
The Schedule designates agencies, boards, commissions, corporations and other bodies as institutions and persons as head of that institution is updated to include:
- Health Shared Services Ontario, and the CEO
The following institutions have been removed from the Schedule:
- Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat
- Ontario Women’s Directorate
- Pan/Parapan American Games Secretariat
- Provincial Advisory Committees
This regulation came into force on September 5, 2017.
For more information about the regulation: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/r17358
Articles of Interest
TGLN & Constitutional Challenge
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