We are inviting comments on the proposed changes to the College’s General By-law.
In 2017, the College made a submission to the Ministry of Health requesting that Part II of the General Regulation made under the Midwifery Act, 1991 be rescinded.
As we continue to work with the Ministry on our submission, we propose to add certain pieces of information from the General Regulation to the College’s General By-law. This is to ensure that when Part II of the General Regulation is rescinded, the important requirements related to providing information to the public about discipline hearings and College Council meetings do not disappear and continue to exist in other College documents.
Below is a comparison table that outlines what information currently exists in the General Regulation and the proposed sections to be added to the General By-law.
In 2012, the colleges of dental surgeons, optometrists, pharmacists, physicians, nurses and physio-therapists formed a new collaborative group: the Advisory Group for Regulatory Excellence (AGRE) with the purpose of making recommendations for changes to the Ontario health professions regulatory framework to enhance public protection.
In November 2014, the College of Midwives of Ontario adopted the following transparency principles developed by the AGRE to serve as the foundation for any future transparency work.
Principle 1: The mandate of regulators is public protection and safety. The public needs access to appropriate information in order to trust that this system of self-regulation works effectively.
Principle 2: Providing more information to the public has benefits, including improved client choice and increased accountability for regulators.
Principle 3: Any information provided should enhance the public’s ability to make decisions or hold the regulator accountable. This information needs to be relevant, credible and accurate.
Principle 4: For information to be helpful to the public, it must: (a) be timely, easy to find and understand; (b) include context and explanation.
Principle 5: Certain regulatory processes intended to improve competence may lead to better outcomes for the public if they happen confidentially.
Principle 6: Transparency discussions should balance the principles of public protection and accountability, with fairness and privacy.
Principle 7: The greater the potential risk to the public, the more important transparency becomes.
Principle 8: Information available from Colleges about members and processes should be similar.
In October 2014, transparency was brought to a new level when the former Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dr. Eric Hoskins, sent a letter to all health regulatory Colleges outlining his commitment to enhanced regulatory transparency and requiring all health regulatory colleges to respond with their plans to enhance transparency in a consistent manner. He requested that the Colleges work collaboratively with the Ministry to implement transparency measures to maintain the public’s trust in Ontario’s health care system. A multiphase initiative began in 2015, resulting in full implementation of AGRE’s recommendations by all health regulatory colleges. In March 2016, the College’s Council approved revised bylaws that made the following information public:
- Non-college member information: Findings of guilt, charges, bail conditions, registration history with other regulators, past practice locations
- College member information: specified continuing education or remediation programs (SCERP) with a monitoring component, ordered by the ICRC; written cautions, ordered by the ICRC; oral cautions, ordered by the ICRC; resignations while under investigation; alternate practice arrangements, authorized by the College, including names of second birth attendants.
On May 30, 2017, Bill 87, the Protecting Patients Act, 2017 was given royal assent by the Ontario legislature. This bill amended the RHPA and expanded the list of information that must be made available about practitioners on public registers. As a result of the College’s transparency initiative in 2015-2016, the College’s by-law already meets many of the new register requirements.
Our consultation is open until June 3rd, and all members of the public, stakeholders, and midwives are invited to share their thoughts on the changes to Article 14 of the College’s General By-Law here. Click here to review the College’s posting guidelines in advance of leaving a comment.
Thank you for taking the time to read and provide your comments. We greatly appreciate your participation and contribution to this consultation.
This consultation will be open until October 10, 2020.