More safety and trans­parency for pa­tients

The McLeod River Post - - Family, Farm & Garden -

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment is work­ing to pro­tect Al­ber­tans from sex­ual mis­con­duct and abuse from reg­u­lated health pro­fes­sion­als by in­tro­duc­ing a bill that in­creases sur­vivor sup­ports and re­quires more trans­parency for reg­u­la­tory col­leges.

Af­ter hear­ing from sur­vivors and their al­lies, the gov­ern­ment is tak­ing ac­tion with An Act to Pro­tect Pa­tients. The bill would make penal­ties manda­tory for sex­ual abuse and sex­ual mis­con­duct by reg­u­lated health pro­fes­sion­als, would re­quire dis­ci­plinary ac­tions to be clearly and con­sis­tently posted on­line, and would pro­vide sur­vivors with ac­cess to treat­ment, coun­selling and pa­tient-re­la­tions pro­grams.

“Women, and all Al­ber­tans, de­serve to feel safe when they put their trust in health-care pro­fes­sion­als. For too long, Al­ber­tans were left in the dark about dis­ci­plinary his­to­ries, as we con­tin­ued to hear dis­turb­ing sto­ries of of­fend­ing pro­fes­sion­als be­ing al­lowed to prac­tise again. I’m proud our gov­ern­ment is tak­ing ac­tion to in­crease trans­parency, sup­port sur­vivors and strengthen pro­tec­tions for pa­tients in Al­berta.”

Sarah Hoff­man, Min­is­ter of Health

“Sex­ual abuse or sex­ual mis­con­duct by a health pro­fes­sional is an abuse of power and con­trol and an egre­gious be­trayal of trust. This new leg­is­la­tion would bet­ter pro­tect pa­tients from health pro­fes­sion­als who have com­mit­ted sex­ual of­fences by man­dat­ing ap­pro­pri­ate penal­ties, mak­ing in­for­ma­tion pub­lic about those who have of­fended and pro­vid­ing sup­port to those who have been vic­tim­ized.”

De­bra Tom­lin­son, CEO, As­so­ci­a­tion of Al­berta Sex­ual As­sault Ser­vices

If passed, An Act to Pro­tect Pa­tients would en­able Al­berta’s reg­u­la­tory col­leges un­der the Health Pro­fes­sions Act to can­cel prac­tice per­mits in in­stances of sex­ual abuse and sus­pend them in in­stances of sex­ual mis­con­duct, and would re­quire col­leges to cre­ate pub­lic web­sites that list health pro­fes­sion­als’ dis­ci­pline his­tory for sex­ual abuse and mis­con­duct. The leg­is­la­tion would also re­quire that col­leges pro­vide fund­ing for treat­ment and coun­selling for pa­tient sur­vivors. Health pro­fes­sion­als found guilty of a reg­u­la­tory of­fence would be barred from re­in­state­ment for at least five years.

If the bill is passed, Al­berta would be the sec­ond prov­ince in Canada, af­ter On­tario, to take tar­geted leg­isla­tive ac­tion to pro­tect pa­tients from sex­ual abuse by health pro­fes­sion­als, with new leg­isla­tive re­quire­ments com­ing into ef­fect April 1, 2019.

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