Council Update

February 26, 2016

Council Award Winner; Policy Updates; Fee Increase Approved

Mar 02, 2016

Advocate for Adolescents Honoured with Council Award

A physician at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) has been honoured with a Council Award for his work helping teens with a variety of complex health issues.

Dr. Stephen Feder specializes in the area of adolescents with eating disorders, transgender teens, and other young people with various developmentally-based issues. Over the course of his 25 years at CHEO, he has spearheaded an outstanding adolescent health program that meets the needs of thousands of patients with complex health issues, and raised the profile of, and expanded the research in, this important area of medicine.

Dr. Feder first became interested in adolescent health as a family physician in the 1980s during the advent of HIV-AIDS, when he would appear at local high schools in his community to talk about prevention. He went on to do an Adolescent Health Fellowship at the University of Minnesota before accepting a role at CHEO in 1991. When he started there, he was essentially a team of one, but he has since built out the hospital's adolescent health capacity to a team of four. 

"Dr. Feder is a consummate academic physician," wrote Dr. Ciaran M. Duffy, Chief of Pediatrics at CHEO.  "He has devoted his time and efforts to ensure that exemplary clinical care is provided to this most complex of populations. He has ensured through his efforts that an expert team is in place to be available for this population to ensure that their needs are met ... I can think of no other physician more deserving of this particular Council Award."

Policy Updates

Treating Those Closest to You

Council has approved a policy that sets out the circumstances in which it may be acceptable for physicians to provide treatment to individuals with whom they have a personal or close relationship.

In its revised policy, Physician Treatment of Self, Family Members and Others Close to Them, the College maintains the position, based on the literature, that there a number of ways in which  compromised objectivity can manifest when physicians treat themselves and the people closest to them. 

"We understand that physicians wish to be of assistance to their loved ones by providing medical care," said Dr. Joel Kirsh, College President. "However, relevant literature consistently indicates that a physician's ability to maintain the necessary amount of emotional and clinical objectivity required for professional judgment can be compromised in this context."

The policy is now online and includes Frequently Asked Questions. An article about the revised policy will be in the upcoming issue of Dialogue.

Prescribing Naloxone for Opioid Overdose Emergency Kits 

Council has revised the Prescribing Drugs policy to permit physicians to prescribe naloxone outside of a physician-patient relationship for distribution in opioid overdose emergency kits.

Naloxone is a drug that can reverse the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose, and is currently available only by prescription.

As a pre-condition for prescribing, physicians must be satisfied that naloxone will only be distributed to individuals who have received appropriate training in its administration.

This change was undertaken in response to the rise in opioid-related deaths in Ontario, and feedback from Toronto Public Health and the Municipal Drug Strategy Co-Ordinator's Network of Ontario requesting that the College permit physicians to prescribe naloxone for distribution in opioid overdose emergency kits.

Health Canada is currently undertaking a formal consultation to re-evaluate the prescription-only status of naloxone. Should Health Canada allow naloxone to be distributed without a prescription, the policy revisions would be rescinded.

In addition to revising the Prescribing Drugs policy, a statement articulating the College's support for efforts to increase the availability of naloxone as part of the emergency treatment of opioid overdose is now online.

Fee Increase Approved

Council has approved a $25 increase to the membership fee. The change to the Fees By-law sets the membership fee at $1,595 for the year beginning June 1, 2016.

The fee increase is necessary to meet the costs of increasing activity at the College. The costs reflect, among other costs, the sheer volume and increasing complexity of College investigations and the increasing number of incapacity investigations.

For more detailed information on these and other topics of interest to the profession, visit our website.