Alberta Doctors, nurses prepare for new bill to protect patients from sexual abuse
2019-03-14 from cbc.ca
With Alberta just weeks away from launching a law designed to protect patients from sexual abuse and misconduct, the province's three dozen regulatory colleges are working behind the scenes to prepare.
Bill 21, which lays out consistent rules for groups that regulate doctors, nurses and other health professionals, comes into effect April 1.
"I think these reforms are overdue," said Lorian Hardcastle, a health law professor at the University of Calgary.
"Prior to this, the colleges could discipline the health professionals in any way they saw fit for sexual offences … and so this takes that discretion out of their hands."
The bill lays out mandatory penalties to be levied by regulatory colleges when members are found guilty by a hearing tribunal.
For sexual abuse, health professionals will have their licence revoked, and for sexual misconduct, they will face suspension.
The legislation eliminates the option of settling these concerns through mediation. It also beefs up requirements for tribunal members, including trauma and sexual violence training and a requirement that at least one member of the panel has the same gender identity as the patient.
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