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Statutes of Newfoundland 1995


CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 10

AN ACT TO AMEND THE MEDICAL ACT

(Assented to December 21, 1995)

Analysis

1. S.2 Amdt.
Definitions

2. S.10 Amdt.
Medical board

3. S.13 Amdt.
Regulations

4. Ss.24.1 to 24.15 Added
24.1 Peer assessment committee
24.2 Agreement
24.3 Peer assessment program
24.4 Assessors
24.5 Assessment
24.6 Report and compliance
24.7 Costs
24.8 Termination of assessment
24.9 Annual report
24.10 Legal proceedings
24.11 Disclosure of information not required
24.12 Section 24.11 exempted
24.13 Other documents
24.14 Evidence in disciplinary matters 24.15 Liability

Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:


RSN 1990 cM-4 as amended

1. (1) Section 2 of the Medical Act is amended by repealing paragraph (a) and substituting the following:

(a) "assessment" means an assessment directed by the peer assessment committee under the peer assessment program;

(a.1) "assessor" means an assessor appointed by the peer assessment committee under section 24.4;

(a.2) "association" means the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association referred to in section 3;

(2) Section 2 of the Act is amended by adding immediately after paragraph (e) the following:

(e.1) "licensing authorities" means the Newfoundland Medical Board, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick, the Provincial Medical Board of Nova Scotia and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Prince Edward Island or their successors;

(3) Section 2 of the Act is amended by adding immediately after paragraph (g) the following:

(g.1) "medical societies" means the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association, the New Brunswick Medical Society, the Medical Society of Nova Scotia, the Medical Society of Prince Edward Island or their successors;

(4) Section 2 of the Act is amended by adding immediately after paragraph (h) the following:

(h.1) "peer assessment committee" means a committee established under section 24.1;

(h.2) "peer assessment program" means the peer assessment program established under section 24.3;

2. (1) Paragraph 10(1)(a) of the Act is amended by adding immediately before the word "City" the words "region of the City of Mount Pearl and the" and by adding immediately after the word "St. John's" the words "and 3 of whom shall be medical practitioners who live in or carry on the practice of medicine in the remainder of the province".

(2) Section 10 of the Act is amended by adding immediately after subsection (6) the following:

(7) A decision or action of the board under this Act whether that decision was made before or after the coming into force of this subsection, is not invalid or ineffective by reason only of a defect or invalidity in the

(a) regulatory requirement concerning the election of board members;

(b) regulatory requirement concerning the qualifications of a board member; or

(c) constitution of the board.

3. Section 13 of the Act is amended by adding immediately after paragraph (q) the following:

(q.1) respecting the appointment of the peer assessment committee under section 24.1;

(q.2) respecting agreements made under section 24.2 including required clauses for those agreements respecting peer assessment committees, cost sharing, budgets, reports, representation on the peer assessment committee, incorporation and the administration of the peer assessment committee and program;

4. The Act is amended by adding immediately after section 24 the following:

Peer assessment committee

24.1 The board may establish a peer assessment committee consisting of licensed medical practitioners and persons licensed to practice medicine by the licensing authorities in the manner prescribed by regulation.

Agreement

24.2 (1) The board may enter into an agreement with one or more of the licensing authorities and medical societies for the establishment of a peer assessment committee.

(2) An agreement made under subsection (1) may be amended by the board and the other parties to that agreement.

(3) The board may by regulation determine those things or requirements that shall be included in an agreement entered into under subsection (1).

Peer assessment program

24.3 (1) The peer assessment committee shall, subject to the approval of the board, develop and administer a peer assessment program that shall include

(a) assessment standards of practice for medical practitioners including

(i) standards for the clinical assessment and care of patients, and

(ii) standards for the maintenance of records of care administered to patients;

(b) procedures and requirements for the selection and education of assessors;

(c) standards and methods of communication with physicians to be assessed;

(d) budgetary and expense arrangements;

(e) requirements and methods respecting the preparation of assessment reports;

(f) the development of policies and procedures for the peer assessment committee and the delegation of these to subcommittees, assessors or employees as the peer assessment committee considers appropriate; and

(g) the determination of further activities including the establishment of other committees and subcommittees to better administer the peer assessment program.

(2) The peer assessment committee, a committee, subcommittee or assessor of the peer assessment committee may carry out those duties and activities established by the peer assessment program.

Assessors

24.4 The peer assessment committee may appoint persons licensed as medical practitioners in the province or in another province as assessors for the purpose of the peer assessment program.

Assessment

24.5 (1) An assessor may, for the purposes of the peer assessment program and with the co-operation of the medical practitioner

(a) enter and inspect the premises where that medical practitioner engages in the practice of medicine;

(b) inspect that medical practitioner's records of care administered to patients;

(c) require from that medical practitioner information required by the peer assessment committee or the assessor respecting the clinical assessment and care of patients by that medical practitioner or his or her records of care administered to patients; and

(d) require that that medical practitioner confer with the peer assessment committee.

(2) A medical practitioner whose standards of practice are the subject of an assessment under the peer assessment program shall cooperate fully with the peer assessment committee and assessors.

Report and compliance

24.6 (1) Upon completion of an assessment an assessor shall submit a report of his or her findings to the peer assessment committee and the peer assessment committee shall review the report and may

(a) make no recommendation to the medical practitioner who has been assessed; or

(b) confer with the medical practitioner assessed and make those remedial recommendations to him or her that the peer assessment committee considers appropriate.

(2) The peer assessment committee may

(a) direct the medical practitioner who has been assessed to comply with recommendations made by the peer assessment committee under subsection (1); and

(b) direct that a medical practitioner be reassessed.

Costs

24.7 Costs incurred by a medical practitioner in implementing remedial recommendations of the peer assessment committee shall be paid by that medical practitioner and shall not be a cost of the peer assessment committee, the licensing authorities or the medical societies.

Termination of assessment

24.8 (1) Where an assessor or a member of the peer assessment committee learns, in the course of an assessment, that a medical practitioner may be guilty of professional misconduct, or may be incapacitated or unfit to practise, the assessment shall be terminated, the medical practitioner shall be advised, and the matter shall be referred to the board to be dealt with as a complaint.

(2) An assessor or a member of a peer assessment committee shall not provide information to the board except the information necessary to identify the nature of the complaint.

(3) This section shall not prevent another person from providing evidence to establish the professional misconduct, incapacity or fitness to practise of a member.

Annual report

24.9 Each year the peer assessment committee shall prepare and publish a report on its activities for the preceding year.

Legal proceedings

24.10 In this section

(a) "legal proceeding" means

(i) a proceeding in a court, including a proceeding for the imposition of punishment by fine, penalty or imprisonment to enforce an Act of the Legislature or a regulation made under that Act, or a civil proceeding, and

(ii) a disciplinary proceeding under this Act or under the governing legislation of another licensing authority; and

(b) "witness" means a member or associate member or officer or employee of the board, an assessor or former assessor, or another person who, in connection with, or in the course of, a legal proceeding is called upon to provide information, to answer, orally or in writing, a question, or to produce a document, whether under oath or not.

Disclosure of information not required

24.11 A witness in a legal proceeding, whether a party or not, is excused from

(a) providing information obtained by the witness in the course of or in relation to an assessment under the peer assessment program; and

(b) producing a document made by the peer assessment committee, an assessor or another document which was prepared under or in relation to an assessment.

Section 24.11 exempted

24.12 Section 24.11 does not apply to

(a) records maintained by hospitals as required by the Hospitals Act; or

(b) medical records maintained by attending physicians pertaining to a patient.

Other documents

24.13 Notwithstanding that a witness is or has been an assessor or a member of the peer assessment committee or a member of a subcommittee of that committee, has participated in the activities of or has prepared a document for or has provided information to the peer assessment committee, the witness is not, subject to section 24.12, excused from answering a question or producing a document that the witness is otherwise bound to answer or produce.

Evidence in disciplinary matter

24.14 (1) An assessor or a member of the peer assessment committee shall not provide evidence against a medical practitioner in a disciplinary matter with respect to information given by the medical practitioner to the assessor or a member of the peer assessment committee in the course of an assessment of the medical practitioner unless the medical practitioner has knowingly given false information during the assessment or the disciplinary matter.

(2) This section shall not prevent another person from providing evidence against a medical practitioner in a disciplinary matter with respect to the information given by the medical practitioner in the course of his or her assessment.

Liability

24.15 An action for damages shall not lie against the licensing authorities, medical societies, the peer assessment committee, the registrar, an officer or employee of the licensing authorities, medical societies or the peer assessment committee, an assessor, a member of a committee or subcommittee of the licensing authorities, medical societies or the peer assessment committee or a member of the board

(a) for an act or failure to act, or a proceeding initiated or carried out in good faith under this Act, or carrying out their duties or obligations as an officer, employee or member under this Act; or

(b) for a decision or order made or enforced in good faith under this Act.

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