Council Update

December 4-5, 2014

Dr. Carol Leet, New College President; Dr. Robin McLeod, Council Award Recipient; Transparency Initiative; Reviewing practices, sexual abuse legislation to better support patients; Draft Policies Approved for Consultation; Telemedicine Policy Approved; 2015 Budget Approved; Physicians to be honoured with Council Award

Dec 11, 2014


Dr. Carol Leet

New College President

Dr. Carol Leet, a Brampton pediatrician, became the College's president at the December Council meeting.

In the next issue of Dialogue, we talk to Dr. Leet about College priorities for the coming year.


Dr. Robin McLeod

Council Award Recipient

Dr. Robin McLeod, one of the world's top colorectal surgeons, was presented with the Council Award in December.

Dr. McLeod joined Toronto General Hospital as a staff surgeon in 1985 and shifted to Mount Sinai Hospital in 1990, where she was head of the division of general surgery.

Dr. McLeod has published 400 academic articles and is internationally recognized as an expert on the management of inflammatory bowel disease, including surgical sub-specialization in pouch operations.

In July 2014, Dr. McLeod retired from the operating room and took on a new challenge as Vice-president of Clinical Programs and Quality Initiatives at Cancer Care Ontario.

Dr. Andy Smith, a colleague who has known Dr. McLeod for 28 years, wrote one of many letters in support of her nomination for the Council Award.

"Dr. McLeod is the type of professional we all aspire to be," wrote Dr. Smith. "She is a relentlessly hard worker who goes above and beyond in the care of her patients, some of whom are amongst the most complex. She has been an extraordinary mentor to a very large number of learners at many levels."

Transparency Initiative

Proposed Phase 2 by-laws approved for consultation

Over the last two years, we have been exploring ways to make our decisions and processes more transparent to the public. We are collaborating in this initiative with five other health-care regulators.  This Advisory Group for Regulatory Excellence (AGRE) has recommended certain categories of information be made available on the Colleges' public registers to allow members of the public to make more informed choices about their providers.  

At its recent meeting, this Council continued to advance the transparency initiative by approving Phase 1 by-laws recently circulated for an external consultation. The by-laws will enable the College to post on the public register physicians' criminal findings, Health Insurance Act offences and those bail conditions that affect their practice.

Council also approved several draft by-laws for an extended consultation in Phase 2 of the transparency initiative. If approved by Council in May, these by-laws would see posted on our public register:

  • information resulting from the investigations process that is not currently public; and
  • information which may be obtained elsewhere, but is not always easy to access. 

Recommendations about which Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) outcomes should be made public were grounded in Transparency Principles, including that the greater the potential risk to the public, the more important transparency becomes. As such, it is recommended that outcomes which result in a Specified Continuing Education and Remedial Program (SCERP) order, or a caution-in-person should be posted in the public register.

Making information about ICRC outcomes available to the public is complex, said outgoing College President, Dr. Marc Gabel.  "It is a significant change for all colleges, and involves careful consideration of administrative fairness and impact on underlying processes. For this reason, Council has taken a deliberately thoughtful approach, carefully balancing transparency and fairness," he said.

The proposed by-laws, if approved, would also see criminal charges, licences in other jurisdictions, and discipline findings in other jurisdictions posted on the public register.

Given the fundamental change posed by these by-laws, Council decided that the consultation deadline should be extended beyond the required 60 days to allow people the opportunity to give considered, thoughtful feedback.  

Each of the health regulatory colleges have also been asked to make transparency a priority objective and take concrete steps to continuously increase transparency in our processes and decision-making. The College responded to the Ministry in two letters:

Reviewing practices, sexual abuse legislation to better support patients

Council unanimously voted to review the sexual abuse provisions in our governing legislation and examine our own processes to determine whether changes need to be made to better support and protect patients.

The College's plan includes a review of the provisions of the Regulated Health Professions Act and the Health Professions Procedural Code to identify whether any changes are needed. Council will consider, for example:

  • Whether steps should be taken to increase penalties for those acts of sexual abuse that do not require revocation.
  • Whether restrictions that prevent or limit a physician from treating patients of a particular gender need to be re-evaluated.

The College will also examine its own processes to ensure best practices in sexual abuse investigations and prosecutions. The results of this initiative will also support, inform and assist in the College's response to the Minister of Health's review of the sexual abuse provisions of the Regulated Health Professions Act.

"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.

Draft Policies Approved for Consultation

We're Seeking Your Feedback

Council directed that three draft policies be released for external consultation. The drafts are the result of extensive research and reflect feedback received in preliminary external consultations.

The draft Consent to Treatment policy sets out expectations of physicians regarding consent to treatment and provides guidance to physicians regarding their legal and professional obligation to obtain consent prior to providing treatment.

The draft Planning for and Providing Quality End-of-Life Care policy sets out the College's professional expectations of physicians and provides guidance on a range of issues relating to quality end-of-life care.

The third draft policy now out for consultation is Professional Obligations and Human Rights. The policy articulates physicians' professional and legal obligations to provide health services without discrimination, and to accommodate individuals who may face barriers to accessing care. The policy also sets out the College's expectations for physicians who limit the health services they provide due to clinical competence or because of their moral or religious beliefs.

We want your input. For more information please visit our Consultations webpage. Are the expectations in the draft policies clear and reasonable? Let us know.

Telemedicine Policy Approved

The Telemedicine policy, which received a favorable response during an external consultation earlier this year, was approved by Council. It sets out general expectations for the appropriate use of telemedicine, which are based on the proposition that the practise of telemedicine is the practise of medicine.

2015 Budget Approved

No fee increase

Council approved the 2015 Budget and agreed with the Finance Committee's recommendation that the annual membership fee not be increased this year.

Physicians to be honoured with Council Award

The following physicians will be presented with a Council Award at Council meetings throughout 2015: Dr. Andrew Stadnyk, a general practitioner in Manitoulin; Dr. Rosemary Moodie, a pediatrician in Toronto; Dr. Sadhana Prasad, a geriatrician and a specialist in internal medicine in Waterloo; and Dr. Craig Campbell, a specialist in internal medicine in Ottawa.