Manitoba may open discipline matters of health professionals, save for ‘limited exceptions’

By Terry Davidson ·

Law360 Canada (April 18, 2024, 4:35 PM EDT) -- In a bid to boost trust and transparency in its health-care system, Manitoba’s government is proposing legislation that would open to the public discipline cases of health professionals facing “cancellation” by their regulator.

According to an April 17 news release, the proposed changes would mean amendments to the province’s Regulated Health Professions Amendment Act (RHPA).

“Under the proposed legislation, cases would be open to the public when a health professional’s registration or certificate of practice is being considered for cancellation by their college due to a conviction for an offence relevant to the suitability to practice,” states the release.

However, these amendments would “contain limited exceptions.” In these cases, colleges would have to provide to the public both oral and written reasons for invoking the exception provision.  

Reasons a meeting would remain closed would include matters involving public security, those jeopardizing personal safety or matters that could prejudice a related civil or criminal proceeding.

Manitoba’s Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Uzoma Asagwara spoke of a need to acknowledge the vulnerability of patients.

“Manitobans trust their health-care providers in their most vulnerable moments, and when that trust is broken and patients are harmed, Manitobans deserve answers,” said Asagwara in a statement. “When a health professional is convicted of an offence that impacts that trust, it’s important the public understand how colleges respond.”

The release describes the RHPA as “umbrella legislation” setting out the rules and processes for the “governance, registration, complaints, discipline, regulation and bylaw-making authority for Manitoba’s health profession regulatory colleges.”

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