In June 2011, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care asked the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC) to provide advice on the need to change the mandatory revocation provisions in the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) for a finding of sexual abuse of a patient, specifically when the patient was a spouse. In considering the Minister’s question, HPRAC undertook a consultation to which the College participated.
In January 2012, the College of Psychologists made a submission to HPRAC outlining the complex issues raised by the Minister’s question, including the potential for harm should a health professional treat a spouse or other family member.
In its report to the Minister in July 2012, HPRAC recommended that the mandatory revocation provisions of the RHPA be maintained but that an exemption for spouses be created in the definition of “sexual abuse”.
The College responded to a further request from the Ministry for comments on HPRAC’s recommendations. In its response the College once again raised concerns regarding the potential for harm should a health professional treat a spouse or other family member and recommended that any proposed legislative amendments not compromise the authority of a College to prohibit its members from treating a spouse. At this time, there has been no final decision by the Minister regarding this matter.