News Release

College takes action on Sexual Abuse and Transparency

Dec 05, 2014

The Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) took definitive action today to protect patients with respect to sexual abuse by physicians and to make more information available about physicians.

The College’s sexual abuse plan includes a review of the provisions of the Regulated Health Professions Act and the Health Professions Procedural Code to identify any changes required to better protect and support patients. Among other issues that will also be considered:

  • Whether we should take steps to seek to increase penalties for sexual abuse that do not require revocation.
  • Whether there should be guidelines about when and if restrictions preventing or limiting a physician from seeing patients of one gender are appropriate.

The College will also examine its own processes to ensure best practices in sexual abuse investigations and prosecutions.

“We take sexual abuse by physicians very seriously. We want to ensure that we are able to empower patients to come forward, and protect and support them when they do.” said Dr. Carol Leet, incoming College President.

Council also took further steps as part of its long-standing transparency initiative to increase the amount and availability of physician-specific information on the public register.

“The College is already a clear leader in Canada with respect to our transparency practices. We believe that providing access to additional physician-specific information may help patients make informed choices and enhance our accountability to the public,” said Dr. Leet.

Council approved placing criminal findings of guilt and bail conditions on the public register. They also launched a consultation that includes posting a range of additional information on the public register including:

  • Criminal charges
  • Cautions in person and specified continuing education or remediation programs (SCERPs)
  • Discipline findings and licences in other jurisdictions

“Our objective is to ensure patients have access to the information they require to make informed decisions about their health care,” said Dr. Leet.

We will consult broadly with the public, the profession, and other stakeholders on these proposed amendments.

Further information about the College’s transparency initiative can be found at: http://www.cpso.on.ca/Policies-Publications/Positions-Initiatives/Transparency-of-Physician-Specific-Information.

Further information about the College’s sexual abuse initiative can be found here.

Media Inquiries 

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