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New Legislation Brings Additional Compliance Requirements For Helathcare Organizations in Ontario

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care released its statement indicating that the new legislation will strengthen privacy, accountability and transparency in the Health Care System. The Act introduces new measures that put patients first by improving privacy, accountability and transparency in the health care system. The changes introduced to HIPA ensures that Ontario remains the leader in health information and privacy protection across Canada.
The Act will amend existing legislation:
  • Making it mandatory to report privacy breaches to the Information and Privacy Commissioner and, in certain circumstances, to relevant regulatory colleges.
  • Strengthening the process to prosecute offences under the Personal Health Information Protection Act by removing the requirement that prosecutions must be commenced within six months of when the alleged offence occurred.
  • Doubling the maximum fines for privacy offences from $50,000 to $100,000 for individuals and from $250,000 to $500,000 for organizations.
  • Affirming the rights of patients to access information about their own health care
  • Clarifying that facts about critical incidents cannot be withheld from affected patients and their families.
  • Requiring the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to review QCIPA every five years.
  • Ensure that patients or their representatives are interviewed as part of a critical incident investigation, and are informed of the cause of the incident, if known.
  • QCIPA currently applies to public and private hospitals, independent health facilities, long-term care homes, medical labs, specimen collection centers and psychiatric facilities.
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