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College of Physicians and Surgeons of Québec

Regulating MDs:  The Complaint Process, Discipline,
and Screening for Fitness to Practice

Regulations for Issuing and Revoking Registration

The following events entail revocation of the registration certificate:

  • Expulsion or suspension of the MD from the faculty of medicine of a university where he or she is working or studying;
  • The issue of a certificate under false representations;
  • Any action or behaviour by the MD that may jeopardize patients' welfare or safety;
  • Any violation of rules that apply to ethics, prescriptions, consulting rooms, or the keeping of records;
  • When the MD is disciplined for violating the Professional Code or the Medical Act, specifically for breaching provisions which impose license revocation, striking off the roll, or suspension of the right to engage in professional activities;
  • When the MD is found guilty by a Canadian court or a foreign court of a criminal offence which, in the reasoned opinion of the College, is related to the practice of medicine, unless he has obtained a pardon;
  • When the MD performs professional activities other than what he is authorized to perform, or breaches the conditions under which he can perform them.

Health Record Privacy and Amendment

Provincial and Federal Legislation

PIPEDA Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
This privacy law covers private-sector commercial organizations, including medical clinics and physicians in private practice.
Privacy Act Privacy Act
This privacy law relates to an individual's right to access and correct personal information the Government of Canada holds about them.
HIPA Health Information Protection Act
This legislation, locally enacted by each province, governs the trustees of health records.

The federal PIPEDA law governs private-sector organizations engaged in commercial activities across Canada. It sets down clear rules for how these organizations may collect, use, or disclose personal information, and guarantees concrete avenues for amending flawed information. PIPEDA applies to medical clinics and physicians in private practice.

Some provinces have HIPA legislation that, on inspection, is deemed substantially similar to the health-records subset of PIPEDA.  An organization that operates solely within such a province will be exempt from PIPEDA, unless the personal information crosses provincial or national borders.

But more than half the provinces and territories have HIPA legislation which is not substantially similar to PIPEDA. In such provinces, an application to PIPEDA may succeed.

Québec is a compliant province – its local HIPA legislation offers a pragmatic protection for health records that is deemed substantially similar to PIPEDA. Compliance oversight belongs to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Georgena S. Sil
Saskatoon, Canada
Physicist & Technical Writer
Alumnus: University of British Columbia

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