News Release

By-law passed unanimously to allow results of out-of-hospital premises inspections to be made public

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Jan 31, 2013

The Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario unanimously passed a by-law today that allows the results of out-of-hospital premises inspections to be made public. College inspections ensure that facilities are properly equipped and staffed in the interest of patient safety.

With this new by-law, the public will now have access to the most current status of premises inspections conducted to date and every future outcome. This information will be posted on the College website at on February 1, 2013, and will be updated regularly.

The Ontario government granted the College the authority to create the program in 2010 to address a gap in the oversight of premises that perform cosmetic surgery, colonoscopies, interventional pain procedures and cataract surgeries in clinical settings that are outside of hospitals. The College strongly advocated for this inspection program to enhance patient safety through improved quality standards.

“The College has moved swiftly to ensure the transparency of our program to provide the public access to inspection outcomes to help inform their health-care choices,” Council President Dr. Eric Stanton told Council members at their meeting on Thursday.

The by-law change follows up on the commitment made in the College’s December 2012 program report, Bridging the Gap: A Patient Safety Imperative to share the results of premises inspections with the public.

“We believe that the provision of premises inspection results will make the College’s Out-of-Hospital Inspection Program the most transparent of its kind in Canada,” said College Registrar Dr. Rocco Gerace.

By having access to the most current and relevant information as of January 31 and going forward on the outcome of an inspection including the reasons for it, the public will be able to make informed decisions about their health care.

Examples of why a clinic may fail include inadequate qualifications of staff, including physicians and nurses; inadequate physical space; and inadequate infection control practices.

“We advocated so strongly for the authority to inspect these premises to improve patient safety, as the safeguards typically in place in hospitals had not necessarily existed in this setting. If a premises fails the inspection, physicians must cease practising those procedures so the potential risk to the public is removed,” said Dr. Stanton.

The College launched a broader transparency project in 2012 and will continue to work with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and other Ontario health regulatory colleges on this initiative.

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