**NOTE: THIS NEWS ITEM REQUIRES YOUR ACTION – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY TO THE END OF THIS EMAIL!
As Regulated Members may be aware, the Alberta government has introduced changes to the Health Professions Act (HPA). This is the most significant change to the HPA since it came into force. Introduced as Bill 21 – An Act to Protect Alberta Patients, Royal Assent was given on November 19, 2018. Some portions of the Bill are in effect as of that date, while others will come into force on April 1, 2019.
Bill 21 speaks specifically to sexual abuse and sexual misconduct by regulated health professionals and introduces a number of new requirements for regulatory health colleges, including ACOT and its members. The amendments are complex and far-reaching and require careful attention by health colleges to implement.
Some of the requirements/changes coming to regulated health profession colleges include:
Mandatory Cancellation and Suspension of Practice Permits
Cancellation of a practice permit for any health professional whose conduct is deemed to be sexual abuse of a patient (as defined in the HPA) with no ability to reapply or be reinstated.
Suspension of a practice permit for any health professional whose conduct is deemed to be sexual misconduct toward a patient (also as defined in the HPA).
Patient Relations Program
Regulatory colleges must provide funding for treatment and counselling for patients who are victims of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct by a regulated professional.
Colleges must provide training for health professionals and college staff to prevent and address sexual abuse and misconduct.
Colleges must post health professionals’ discipline history for sexual abuse or misconduct on a public-facing website.
Due to the extremely tight and inflexible timelines of this Bill, ACOT’s staff efforts will be focused over the coming weeks/months. Please bear with us.
You will also see changes coming to the ACOT website; some sections may be “under construction” as we work to implement new requirements. In the meantime, if you are having difficulty finding information on the website, please contact the office and we’ll do all we can to get you the information you need.
Fore more information: https://www.alberta.ca/protecting-patients-against-sexual-abuse.aspx
please stay tuned for more communications as we work our way to full compliance.
Standards of Practice
Colleges must create new standards of practice for sexual abuse and sexual misconduct that must be approved by the Minister of Health. In the standard, Colleges must define who is a “patient” and set rules for when sexual relationships can occur with patients.
Colleges have been directed to develop this standard immediately and to provide it to the Minister by December 31, 2018.
A draft standard – new Standard of Practice #10 – has been developed to conform with the mandatory content requirements of the amended legislation.
THE DRAFT CAN BE FOUND AT THE FOLLOWING LINK: http://acot.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/ACOT-Draft-Bill-21-Standard-of-Practice-111218.pdf.
AS REQUIRED UNDER THE HPA, REGULATED MEMBERS MUST BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW ANY NEW OR AMENDED STANDARDS OF PRACTICE, AND TO PROVIDE COMMENT.
COLLEGES HAVE BEEN GIVEN MINIMUM TIME TO DO THIS, AND THE RESPONSE DEADLINE IS INFLEXIBLE. IN ORDER THAT COUNCIL CAN CONSIDER MEMBER FEEDBACK BEFORE SUBMITTING THE FINAL DRAFT TO GOVERNMENT, MEMBERS WHO WISH TO COMMENT MUST DO SO BY 4:00 PM FRIDAY DECEMBER 14.
**PLEASE SEND YOUR FEEDBACK TO INFO@ACOT.CA BY NO LATER THAN 4:00 P.M. ON FRIDAY DECEMBER 14, 2018**
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Patricia Wheadon at T: 780.436.8381 ext. 103 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org