On July 22, 2014, the Ontario government introduced Bill 21, the Safeguarding Health Care Integrity Act, 2014. Bill 21 received Royal Assent on December 11, 2014.
This legislation intends to safeguard health care integrity by enacting the Voluntary Blood Donations Act, 2014. In relation to Ontario’s voluntary blood donor model, the legislation prohibits payments or offers of payment to individuals for their blood, including any forms of compensation or reimbursement of expenses. Inspection and enforcement provisions are also provided for, including compliance orders.
The Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act will be mended to give the Ontario College of Pharmacists the authority to regulate hospital pharmacies in the same way it currently regulates community pharmacies. This change has not yet been proclaimed. We will let you know when it is in force.
Mandatory Reports to Regulatory Colleges for Restrictions of Practice:
In addition, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 and the Public Hospitals Act will be amended, intending to enhance communication among health system partners and enable health regulatory colleges to more readily share information with hospitals and public health authorities. Existing mandatory reporting requirements will be strengthened in order to respond more quickly and effectively to issues regarding a health professional’s practice. In particular, when they come into force, the amendments to the Public Hospitals Act will make it mandatory for hospital administrators to report to the College of Physicians and Surgeons where a physician restricts his or her practice and there is reason to believe the restriction is related to the physician’s competence, negligence or conduct, or if the restriction takes place during the course of, or as a result of, an investigation into the physician’s behaviour. This is an important change for hospital Chiefs of Staff and Medical Advisory Committees to know. We are waiting for these changes to be proclaimed before they come into effect – we will let you know.