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Health and Human Services:  Great Northwest Territories

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

Professional Licensing

When a physician new to the Northwest Territories applies for a license, he or she must complete a form which includes the questions below. Misrepresentation or falsification of the information on the form may cause the application to be rejected, and may result in such information being shared with other Licensing Authorities.

As well, when applying for a medical license in the GNWT, a Certificate of Standing from each jurisdiction in which the physician has practiced is required.

  • Application for Medical License in the Northwest Territories:
  • Have you ever, or are you currently, being treated for any illness or disability that could affect your practice of medicine?
  • Have you ever been refused a medical license?
  • Has your medical license, registration or right to practice in any jurisdiction been revoked, suspended or restricted in any way?
  • Have you ever, or are you currently, being treated for any addictions such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, gambling?
  • Have you ever had your hospital privileges revoked, suspended or restricted?
  • Have you ever been charged or convicted of a criminal or similar offence?
  • Are you presently the subject of an allegation, complaint or investigation by any medical licensing authority?
  • Have you ever had your billing rights restricted or removed by a health care paying agency?

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.

The Great Northwest Territories is a non-compliant region – its local legislation, the Northwest Territories Health Information Act, offers less protection for health records, and reveals less respect for patients, than the farsighted 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.