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College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick

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

Criminal Record Checks for Physicians

In New Brunswick, all applicants for a medical license are subject to a criminal record check. The applicant's name is run through the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) computerized database, which lists all individuals residing in Canada who have been convicted of an indictable offense. In addition, applicants from outside Canada are checked with Interpol.

Health Record Privacy and Amendment

Provincial and Federal Legislation

Federal
Level
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.
Provincial
Level
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.

New Brunswick 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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Copyright © 2008-2019 Georgena Sil. All Rights Reserved.