Make MD complaints public: Patient advocate
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Aug 04, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Make MD complaints public: Patient advocate

Patients Canada says complaints made to regulatory colleges about health professionals should be public

OurWindsor.Ca

A patient advocacy group is echoing a call to make complaints about health professionals public.

Sholom Glouberman, president of Patients Canada, said on Thursday that complaints made to self-regulatory bodies about health professionals such as doctors should be made public once they have been investigated.

“I think that greater transparency about college functions is an important step forward. The results of all complaints should definitely be made public along with the name of the doctor,” he said, adding that patients’ identities should be kept confidential.

The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association said this week that complaints made about doctors to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario should be made public once they have been investigated and dispositions made.

The Ontario Hospital Association also wants the CPSO and other health regulator colleges to automatically inform hospitals of complaints about health professionals. Those professionals are now required to self-disclose to hospitals whether their self-regulatory colleges have taken action against them in response to complaints.

What’s more, only the most serious of complaints, which the CPSO’s Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee refers to its disciplinary arm, are made public. The CPSO makes public on its online register those cases that have been referred to discipline. But last year, these represented only 2 per cent of the 2,294 complaints from the public that were investigated by the college.

Complaints that are not made public include those that result in the college’s ICR committee calling in doctors to be “orally cautioned.” Such complaints are serious enough to leave the committee concerned about an aspect of a physician’s practice, and a doctor is given direction to avoid future difficulties.

The former chief of staff of Humber River Hospital, Dr. Jack Barkin, was ordered by the committee on June 4 to appear for an oral caution, which the Star learned about from the family who lodged a complaint against him. In that case, an elderly patient suffered a stroke and died within days of Barkin performing a minor, elective surgical procedure on him.

The committee decision did not say Barkin was responsible for the death but did identify problems with his clinical care; it also noted that here had been prior complaints against BarkinBut on the CPSO’s public register, there is no mention of problems under Barkin’s profile.

Toronto Star

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