The Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA), and associated health profession Acts, set out the governing framework for the regulated health professions in Ontario.
The RHPA framework is intended to :
- better protect and serve the public interest;
- be a more open and accountable system of self-governance;
- provide a more modern framework for the work of health professionals;
- provide consumers with freedom of choice; and
- provide mechanisms to improve quality of care.
Key features of the RHPA include :
- scope of practice -- a statement that describes what the profession does;
- controlled acts (procedures or activities which may pose a risk to the public if not performed by a qualified practitioner);
- health regulatory colleges -- a corporation that governs each regulated health profession responsible for regulating the practice of the profession and governing its members according to the RHPA;
- Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council -- an independent, arms-length advisory body to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care with a mandate to advise the Minister of a number of items related to the regulation of health professions; and
- Health Professions Appeal and Review Board -- an independent third party with a mandate to review registration and complaints decisions of the health regulatory College.
Health Procedural Code
The Health Professions Procedural Code (Code), which is Schedule 2 to the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, sets out the practical rules for the colleges regarding :
- registering members
- handling complaints
- conducting investigations
- carrying out discipline hearings
- handling fitness to practise hearings
- quality assurance program
- patient relations program
- mandatory reporting
- funding for victims of sexual abuse by members
- appeal processes regarding registration and complaint decisions
The Code is embedded into each health profession Act (i.e. the Chiropractic Act, 1991).
Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council
The Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC) advises the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on whether unregulated health professions should be regulated; whether regulated professions should no longer be regulated; amendments to the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, a health profession Act or a regulation under those Acts; quality assurance and patient relations programs of Ontario's health regulatory colleges; and on other matters referred to it by the Minister. Members of the Council are appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.