Registered members of health profession or health discipline
There are provisions within the Protection for Persons in Care Act (PPCA) that affect health professionals registered under the Health Professions Act (HPA) and registered members of a designated health discipline under the Health Disciplines Act (HDA).
Registered members of a health profession and registered members of a designated health discipline (referred to here as registered members) have specific obligations under the PPCA if they are employed by a service provider that comes under the PPCA, or if they are engaged for services* (by contract or any other method) by a service provider that comes under the PPCA.
*NOTE: The registered member may be “engaged for services” if they are bound by contract, some other formal arrangement, or moral or legal obligation to provide services. This does not include volunteers.
Obligation to report abuse
Every individual, including a registered member, who has reasonable grounds to believe that there is or has been abuse involving a client must report that abuse, as soon as reasonably practicable.
It is an offence for individuals to fail to report abuse, to make a report of abuse knowing it to be false, or to make a report of abuse maliciously or without reasonable grounds. Individuals who do so may be fined up to $10,000.
In addition, if the individual is a registered member, the applicable regulatory body will be notified of the member’s failure to comply with their duty to report.
How to report abuse
- Report abuse to Protection for Persons in Care (PPC). Call 1-888-357-9339
- If the alleged abuse is criminal in nature, it may be reported to the police. If the alleged abuse is criminal in nature, it may be reported to the police.
- If the alleged abuse involved a client who is or was detained under one or two admission certificates under the Mental Health Act or subject to a community treatment order, the abuse may be reported to the Mental Health Patient Advocate.
- If the individual involved in the alleged abuse is a registered member, the alleged abuse may be reported directly to the applicable regulatory body. (Note: Individual involved refers to a person who allegedly abused a client or who allegedly failed to prevent abuse of a client.)
When abuse is reported directly to a police service, the Mental Health Patient Advocate or a regulatory body, the PPC office has no role.
Referring reports of abuse to a regulatory body under the HPA or HDA
If the abuse is reported to PPC and it is decided that the report needs to be investigated, and if the individual involved is a registered member, the report of abuse may be referred to the applicable regulatory body for investigation.
That regulatory body has the powers of an investigator under the PPCA, in addition to any other powers, duties and responsibilities the regulatory body has under the HPA or HDA. After the regulatory body has completed its investigation, they must provide a copy of the results of the investigation to the PPC director. Upon receipt of the results, the PPC office closes its file and the involvement of the PPC office ends.
Designated health disciplines under the HDA
- Emergency medical technicians
- Rehabilitation practitioners
- Orthotist and prosthetics
PPC can not accept anonymous reports of abuse. However, under the PPCA, service providers cannot take adverse action against anyone for reporting abuse or assisting with an investigation.
The identity of the complainant will be disclosed when the abuse report is referred to the police or to another body for investigation, if the matter is appealed to an appeal panel under the PPCA, and when required to do so by law.
Registered members also have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect the client from abuse and maintain a reasonable level of safety for the client, and take all reasonable steps to provide for the immediate safety, security and well-being of the client and any other clients who may be at risk of abuse, when notified that a report of abuse has been made under the PPCA.
Failure to comply with these duties is an offence and individuals may be liable to a fine of up to $10,000.