Note: This article was originally posted in our July 2018 newsletter, and has not been updated.
New changes from the Protecting Patients Act, 2017 came into effect in May 2018, and affect midwives’ mandatory reporting obligations, financial resources that are available related to sexual abuse complaints, and the College’s By-law.
In 2017, the Ontario Legislature approved Bill 87, The Protecting Patients Act, 2017. Bill 87 has come into force in two stages, and the College has responded to all requirements in the Bill. You can read about changes that came into effect in May 2017 here.
On May 1st, 2018, other provisions in Bill 87 came into effect. There were significant changes to mandatory reporting obligations, which are detailed below. Another change means that funding for therapy and counselling is now available from the College for clients who make a complaint to the College about sexual abuse or are the subject of a registrar’s investigation involving sexual abuse, at the time the allegation of sexual abuse is made.
Mandatory Reporting Obligations
We updated our Guide on Mandatory Reporting for midwives, and you can read the updated guide here. The Bill 87 changes are covered in section 1.3 and 1.5 of the guide, and are summarized below.
1.3 Charges and Associated Conditions/Restrictions
Midwives are required to file a report in writing with the Registrar if charged with an offence. The report must be filed as soon as reasonably possible.
1.5 Other Professional Memberships & Finding of Professional Misconduct & Incompetence
Midwives are required to tell the Registrar of the College if they are also members of another body that governs a profession inside or outside of Ontario. Midwives are also required to report of they have had a finding of professional misconduct or incompetences in relation to the practice of midwifery, or any other profession, inside or outside of Ontario. This report must be filed as soon as reasonably possible.
Funding and Therapy for Sexual Abuse
Bill 87 provides additional resources for individuals who were, or may have been, sexually abused by a midwife while they were a client. We have created a Guide on Funding and Therapy, which sets out information on the process for obtaining funding for therapy and counselling for these individuals.
We have also created a new Sexual Abuse Complaints Guide for members of the public, which is intended to assist clients in understanding why it is important to report sexual abuse and what can be expected when a report is made. The midwife-client relationship is based on trust. Sexual abuse by a midwife violates that trust and is never acceptable.
The College has zero-tolerance for sexual abuse and has the responsibility to investigate all complaints. If you are a midwifery client and your midwife has touched you inappropriately, said something to make you feel uncomfortable, or engaged in any form of sexual relations with you, please contact the College at 416-640-2252 x. 224.
Other changes made by Bill 87 have necessitated changes to our College’s General By-law. While our public register remained in compliance with the RHPA, our General By-law needed to be amended to reflect the current legislation. The proposed changes to Article 14 of the College’s General By-Law were approved by Council.