Questions By Members, 23 November 2016
Source: Legislative Assembly of PEI

Physician complaints process

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you so much, Mr. Speaker.

Two thousand and fourteen Court of Appeal decision noted that under the current Medical Act the handling of complaints against physicians is unfair and can compromise the process. Islanders need to have confidence that if they raise concerns about the professional misconduct of a physician that there is a fair process through which their concerns can be addressed.

A question to the Minister of Health and Wellness: What measures have been taken to improve the complaints process regarding physicians?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Health and Wellness.

Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, in this province we have what’s called a Regulated Health Professions Act, and in that act professions like the medical society, like the nurses’ association, some of those organizations that provide services for health care, they usually have, under their particular acts – it might be a college, in this particular case the medical society would have a college of physicians – and that’s the process that complaints come to our department.

They can also then be reverted to the college of physicians for a review on a particular physician in this province.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party, your first supplementary question.

2009 Medical Act

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

In his decision, Judge Jenkins also noted that a new Medical Act was passed in 2009 but never proclaimed. This act which was passed by this House would have improved the process for complaints. It’s the Medical Act under which the complaints process falls, the complaints against physicians. But this act was never proclaimed into law.

Question to the Minister of Health and Wellness: Why has the 2009 Medical Act never been proclaimed into law?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Health and Wellness.

Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, I’ll probably take that question under advisement and get more detail.

But I can inform the House that in 2014 we did proclaim a Regulated Health Professions Act and that act is to allow organizations to self-regulate. There are many health professions in this province that are self-regulated. Complaints and referrals would go to them to do the proper disciplinary actions for their members, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party, your second supplementary question.

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Again, we’re not talking here about the Regulated Health Professions Act, we’re talking about the 2009 Medical Act which had proposed to address two main issues: improving the certification process for foreign physicians coming to the Island, and improving the complaints process.

Bill 45, which we passed last fall, addressed the certification issue and that’s now much better than it was, but not the complaints process.

New legislation re: physician complaints process

A question to the Minister of Health and Wellness: Does the minister plan to introduce new legislation to finally improve the complaints process here on Prince Edward Island?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Health and Wellness.

Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, I have actually 41 particular acts that deal with the medical services and delivery of health care in this province.

I have to admit, I’m not as up to speed maybe on that one in particular – 2009 is a little bit before my time – but I will try to get some of that information back. I think it’s very important that all our acts that we administer through our department, to make sure that everyone is following the proper procedures within the legislation and the regulation. I want to make sure that Islanders get the highest quality of health care and that it’s delivered in the most professional manner here in this province. If it’s not, we want to take the appropriate action to make sure that it is.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

 

Leave a Reply