This is an official version.

Copyright 2000: Queens Printer,
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Important Information
(Includes details about the availability of printed and electronic versions of the Statutes.)

Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990


CHAPTER M-4

AN ACT RESPECTING THE NEWFOUNDLAND MEDICAL ASSOCIATION AND GOVERNING THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE IN THE PROVINCE

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. Newfoundland Medical Association

4. Objects

5. Powers

6. By-laws

7. Membership

8. Meetings

9. Council of association

10. Medical board

11. Meetings of board

12. Quorum

13. Regulations

14. Medical register

15. Qualification for registration

16. Register of specialists

17. Educational register

18. Publication of registers

19. Statements may require attestational oath or affirmation

20. Appeal to Trial Division

21. Licence to practice

22. Provisional licences

23. Validity of certificates

24. Disciplinary action of board

25. Limitation of action

26. Appeal

27. Emergency treatments: liability

28. Protection from liability

29. Conflicting legislation

30. Offence


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Medical Act.

1974 No119 s1

Back to Top

Definitions

2. In this Act

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

(b) "board" means the Newfoundland Medical Board referred to in section 10;

(c) "by-laws" means by-laws of the association;

(d) "educational register" means the Educational Register of the Newfoundland Medical Board referred to in section 17;

(e) "licence" means a licence issued under this Act to engage in the practice of medicine, and where the context so admits, includes a provisional licence;

(f) "medical practitioner" means a person who is the holder of a licence to carry out the practice of medicine under this Act;

(g) "medical register" means the Newfoundland Medical Register referred to in section 14;

(h) "minister" means the Minister of Health;

(i) "practice of medicine" means the practice of medicine or surgery on the human body, and includes cardiology, dermatology, geriatrics, gynecology, neurology, obstetrics, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pathology, pediatrics, psychiatry and radiology and other specialties and subspecialties of medicine;

(j) "register of specialists" means the Specialists' Register of the Newfoundland Medical Board referred to in section 16; and

(k) "registrar" means that member of the board appointed as registrar under section 11.

1974 No119 s2

Back to Top

Newfoundland Medical Association

3. The Newfoundland Medical Association is continued as a corporation.

1974 No119 s4

Back to Top

Objects

4. The objects of the association are

(a) to promote and advance medical and related arts and sciences in all their branches, to increase the knowledge, skill, standard and proficiency of its members in the practice of medicine, and to maintain the honour and integrity of the medical profession;

(b) to help in the furtherance of measures designed to improve health and prevent disease and disability;

(c) to co-operate with and to help public and private medical associations, agencies and commissions properly engaged in the task of providing or financing medical and health services of all kinds;

(d) to promote measures designed to improve standards of hospital and medical services; and

(e) to improve the welfare and social standards of its members and encourage the co-operation of its members in the protection of their legal and equitable rights.

1974 No119 s5

Back to Top

Powers

5. The association may, in addition to the powers vested by law in a corporation,

(a) acquire assets and property both real and personal by purchase, lease, grant, hire, exchange or otherwise and dispose of that property;

(b) provide for the management of its property and effects and of its affairs and business;

(c) borrow money for the purpose of carrying out the objects of the association and give security for money borrowed on its real or personal property by mortgage, pledge, charge or otherwise;

(d) invest money of the association not immediately required for its objects, in a manner that it may determine;

(e) establish local and regional branches;

(f) fix and collect the annual fees payable to it by its members;

(g) enter into agreements on behalf of the association with a person, association, agency or commission, including agencies of government that may be necessary for or incidental or conducive to the carrying out of the objectives of the association;

(h) publish or promote the publication of journals, newsletters, transactions, reports, brochures or other papers to advance the objects of the association;

(i) act as agent within the province for the Canadian Medical Association, or other association recognized as representing medical practitioners in Canada, and to collect and remit the fees levied by that association;

(j) receive gifts, donations and bequests from persons, associations or corporate bodies and make gifts or donations for the promotion of the objects of the association of its members;

(k) act on behalf of its members, or a group or section or division of its members, and negotiate for, and on their behalf, with other persons or agencies, including government agencies; and

(l) do all other matters and things including the employment of staff and other persons, that may be necessary or desirable for exercising the powers conferred by this Act or powers incidental to this Act.

1974 No119 s6

Back to Top

By-laws

6. (1) The association may make by-laws consistent with this Act that are necessary or desirable for the attainment of its objects or for the proper implementation of its powers.

(2) A by-law, amendment or revocation of a by-law may be made at a general meeting of the association where

(a) notice of the by-law, amendment or revocation is given in writing to every member of the association eligible to vote at least 1 month before the meeting at which the by-law, amendment or revocation is to be made, cancelled or revoked; and

(b) 2/3 of the members of the association eligible to vote, present in person or by proxy at a general meeting, vote in favour of the by-law, amendment or revocation.

1974 No119 s7; 1981 c44 s1

Back to Top

Membership

7. (1) All persons, who

(a) are holders of a licence; and

(b) pay the fee for membership fixed in accordance with section 5

shall, notwithstanding anything contained in the by-laws, be members of the association and shall have full voting rights in the association.

(2) The association may, where the by-laws provide, but subject always to conditions, terms and limitations, including conditions respecting voting rights that may be prescribed in the by-laws, appoint persons as associate members, student members, life members and to other types of membership in the association.

1974 No119 s8

Back to Top

Meetings

8. The association shall in the manner and at the time provided in the by-laws hold an annual general meeting in each year and may hold other general meetings that are required during each year.

1974 No119 s9

Back to Top

Council of association

9. (1) There shall be a council of the association elected in the manner set out in the by-laws from among the members of the association in good standing, and consisting of the number of persons that the by-laws shall prescribe.

(2) The council of the association shall carry on and implement the general management of the affairs and business of the association and shall carry on and transact that management in accordance with this Act and the by-laws.

1974 No119 s10

Back to Top

Medical board

10. (1) There shall be a board known as the Newfoundland Medical Board having as its members

(a) 7 medical practitioners, referred to in this Act as "elected members", elected by secret ballot in accordance with the regulations, 4 of whom shall be medical practitioners who live in or carry on the practice of medicine in the City of St. John's;

(b) 3 persons appointed by the minister, 2 of whom shall not be medical practitioners, and 1 of whom shall be appointed from a list of not less than 3 nominees submitted by the Board of Regents of Memorial University; and

(c) 2 medical practitioners appointed by the minister, both of whom shall be appointed from a list of not less than 4 nominees submitted by the association.

(2) Where a vacancy occurs in the membership of the board as a result of the death, retirement, resignation or incapacity to act of that member, the vacancy shall be filled

(a) in the case of an elected member, by secret ballot in accordance with the regulations; and

(b) in the case of another member, by appointment in the manner provided in paragraph (1)(b) or (c).

(3) When a vacancy is filled under subsection (2), the person filling the vacancy shall serve only for the remainder of the term of office of the member being replaced, and that person is eligible for reappointment.

(4) Members of the board shall serve for a period of 3 years and are eligible for re-election or reappointment, but an elected member or other member shall not serve on the board as an elected member or other member for a continuous period exceeding 9 years.

(5) Notwithstanding subsection (4)

(a) an elected member is eligible for appointment to the board under paragraph (1)(b) or (c); and

(b) a member appointed under paragraph (1)(b) or (c) is eligible for election as an elected member

notwithstanding that the period of membership may be for a continuous period exceeding 9 years.

(6) Where the term of office of a member of the board expires and a successor has not been elected or appointed, that member may continue to hold office until a successor is elected or appointed but time served by that member under this subsection shall not be counted for the purpose of subsection (4).

1974 No119 s11; 1984 c28 s1

Back to Top

Meetings of board

11. (1) The board shall hold an annual general meeting at a time and place in the province that it may determine, and may hold other meetings during each year within St. John's upon the request of the chairperson, or the registrar, or of 3 members.

(2) At each annual general meeting held under subsection (1), the board shall, in addition to other matters required by the regulations to be considered at that meeting, elect from the members

(a) a chairperson who shall preside over meetings of the board;

(b) a vice-chairperson who shall, in the absence of the chairperson, preside over meetings of the board; and

(c) a deputy registrar who shall, during the absence of the registrar, carry out the functions and duties of the registrar.

(3) The board shall appoint a medical practitioner to be registrar, either from among the members of the board or outside the board.

(4) The registrar shall carry out the duties imposed upon the registrar by this Act and shall control all matters relating to the finances of the board, including the receipt of all money paid to the board, or a member of the board, and the making of disbursements on behalf of the board.

(5) The registrar is, by virtue of the office, a member of the board where he or she is appointed from outside the board and in that case he or she is not subject to subsection 10(4).

(6) Where the registrar and deputy registrar are appointed from among the members of the board they may, with the approval of the minister, be exempted from subsection 10(4).

(7) At meetings of the board, each member shall have 1 vote and in the case of a tie, the chairperson or, in the absence of the chairperson, the vice-chairperson shall have a 2nd or casting vote.

1974 No119 s12; 1979 c47 s1; 1984 c28 s2

Back to Top

Quorum

12. Six members of the board shall constitute a quorum for a meeting of the board.

1974 No119 s13

Back to Top

Regulations

13. The board may, with the approval of the minister, make regulations respecting

(a) the holding of meetings, including the place, time and order of business at those meetings;

(b) the election of the elected members of the board, including the taking, receiving, recording and counting of votes of medical practitioners, with power to prescribe that votes may be taken by post, or proxy and the manner of taking those votes;

(c) the conduct and nature of examinations, including the subjects for examinations;

(d) the registration of persons and the licensing of medical practitioners;

(e) the issuing and renewal of provisional licences and the terms and conditions on which those licences may be granted;

(f) the maintenance of the medical register, and the form and contents of it;

(g) the maintenance of the register of specialists and the educational register and the form and content of each register, and the educational requirements for registration of specialists and of students, with power to adopt requirements set by recognized medical bodies or associations of Canada;

(h) the fees payable for the provision of examinations under this Act, and fixing the amount of those fees;

(i) the disciplining of medical practitioners, and students of medicine registered in the educational register, and the cancellation or suspension of licences issued under this Act or of rights to practice medicine conferred by this Act;

(j) the inquiry by the board into the matters specified in section 24, the procedure to be followed by the board before reaching a decision, and for the purpose of paragraph 24(c) fixing the maximum penalty which can be imposed;

(k) the manner and form in which the annual list of medical practitioners and specialists is to be published;

(l) the recognition of medical schools, courses and examinations for the purposes of registration and licensing;

(m) the remuneration, fees and allowances payable to members of the board for attending meetings and for carrying out the functions of the board under this Act, with power to prescribe different rates for different members and different functions;

(n) conflict of interest;

(o) internship and residency training; and

(p) additional matters, including the appointment, termination and duties of staff, that may be considered necessary by the board for carrying into effect the purposes of this Act.

1974 No119 s14; 1984 c28 s3

Back to Top

Medical register

14. The registrar shall maintain a medical register known as the Newfoundland Medical Register containing the name, address, medical qualifications and other matters required by the regulations, of each person having the qualifications required by this Act for registration.

1974 No119 s15

Back to Top

Qualification for registration

15. (1) A person who has

(a) fulfilled the educational requirements prescribed by the board before entering upon the study of medicine;

(b) completed the entire course of studies required by, and holds a medical degree or diploma in medicine from, a university, college or school of medicine or surgery recognized and approved by the board;

(c) completed internship or residence training that may be required by the board;

(d) provided to the board evidence of identification satisfactory to it; and

(e) produced to the board a certificate of good standing from the responsible officer of a medical body having jurisdiction in the place at which the person may previously have been registered, and satisfactory evidence that the benefit of that registration has not been lost by misconduct or for another cause,

is entitled to registration in the medical register upon payment of the fee for registration fixed by the board.

(2) The board may require an applicant for registration to pass an examination certifying fitness and competence to engage in the practice of medicine and that examination shall be conducted by a board of examiners appointed by the board and approved by the minister.

(3) The board may enter into an agreement with a medical board, association or other body having responsibility for the registration or licensing of medical practitioners in a province, state or country, providing for the registration of persons in the medical register upon reciprocal terms and conditions that shall be specified in the agreement, and upon that agreement being entered, and during the currency of that agreement, an applicant for registration under this Act, who is registered in the jurisdiction with whom the agreement is in force, shall not be required to pass an examination fixed by the board under subsection (2).

(4) Examinations under subsection (2) may

(a) be conducted orally or in writing, or both;

(b) be held at the times and places; and

(c) contain the subject matter

that may be prescribed by the regulations.

1974 No119 s16

Back to Top

Register of specialists

16. (1) The registrar shall maintain a register of specialists known as the Specialists' Register of the Newfoundland Medical Board in which there shall be entered the name, address, medical qualifications and other matters required by the regulations, of each person having the qualifications necessary for acknowledgement of that person as a specialist in the practice of medicine for the purpose of a law of the province which makes provisions for specialties in medicine.

(2) A person

(a) who has completed a course of training which has been accepted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada as being adequate for admission to examination for certification in a specialty of medicine and who, following examination, has been granted a fellowship or equivalent diploma or degree by a college which in the opinion of the board is equivalent to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada; and

(b) who pays the fee for registration fixed by the board,

may be registered in the register of specialists.

(3) A person may be registered in the register of specialists for a period not exceeding 90 days where the board is satisfied that the qualifications and experience of that person in the practice of medicine warrant registration for that period.

1974 No119 s17

Back to Top

Educational register

17. (1) The registrar shall maintain an educational register to be known as the Educational Register of the Newfoundland Medical Board in which the registrar shall enter the name, address, qualifications and other matters required by the regulations of

(a) a person who is enrolled as an undergraduate student in a school of medicine approved by the board and whose registration under this section is recommended by the Dean of Medicine in that school; or

(b) a graduate of a school of medicine approved by the board who is employed as an intern or is engaged in post-graduate medical work at a hospital approved by the board.

(2) The registration of a person in the educational register

(a) may be made subject to the terms and conditions, including conditions as to the payment of fees, that the board may prescribe; and

(b) confers upon the person registered, the right to practice medicine in the province, but only under supervision and direction of a medical practitioner.

1974 No119 s18

Back to Top

Publication of registers

18. (1) The registrar shall before February 15 in each year publish in the Gazette a copy of the names, in alphabetical order according to surnames, of all persons appearing on the medical register, educational register and register of specialists as of January 15 in that year.

(2) A copy of the medical register, educational register and register of specialists, certified by the registrar, is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, evidence in all courts and before all judges, justices and others, that the persons whose names appear on those registers are registered in the register in which their names appear, and the absence of the name of a person from a register is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, evidence that the person is not registered in the register in which the name does not appear.

1974 No119 s19

Back to Top

Statements may require attestational oath or affirmation

19. (1) The registrar may require an applicant for registration under this Act to witness upon oath or affirmation, before a commissioner for oaths, evidence required to satisfy the board for the purpose of registration in the medical register, educational register or register of specialists.

(2) Entry shall not be made in the medical register, educational register or register of specialists unless the registrar is reasonably satisfied, by proper and acceptable evidence, that the facts upon which the entry is to be made are true, and the registrar may, and shall if directed in writing by an applicant for registration, submit a question arising under this subsection for the directions of the board.

(3) An entry in the medical register, educational register or register of specialists which is proved to the satisfaction of the board to have been fraudulently or incorrectly made shall be deleted by the registrar from the appropriate register upon an order to that effect from the board.

(4) A person registered under this Act shall notify the registrar of a change to the qualifications held by that person or of an entry made with respect to that person in the medical register, educational register or register of specialists and the registrar shall record that change with respect to that person in the appropriate register.

1974 No119 s20

Back to Top

Appeal to Trial Division

20. (1) A person aggrieved by a refusal of the board to register the name of that person in the medical register or the register of specialists, may, within 30 days after receipt of notice of that refusal, appeal against the refusal to a judge of the Trial Division by filing in the office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court a notice of appeal, and by serving a copy of the notice upon the chairperson of the board.

(2) Notwithstanding a rule or practice to the contrary, the notice of appeal shall

(a) set out in detail the allegations of the appellant and the grounds upon which the refusal to register is appealed against; and

(b) be signed by the appellant or his or her solicitor.

(3) The appellant shall within 14 days after service of the notice of appeal under this section, apply to the judge for the appointment of a day for the hearing of the appeal and shall not less than 14 days before the hearing serve upon the board a written notice of the day appointed for the hearing.

(4) The registrar shall produce to the judge hearing the appeal all papers and documents in the possession of the board affecting the subject matter of the appeal.

(5) The judge shall hear the appeal and the evidence brought forward by the appellant and the board, and shall decide the matter of the appeal by

(a) upholding or revoking the refusal to register; or

(b) making another decision or order which the judge considers to be appropriate in the interest of justice and equity, with power to make orders as to costs for or against the appellant or the board and to fix the amount of costs.

(6) An appeal may be taken from an order or decision of the judge to the Court of Appeal upon a point of law raised at the hearing of the appeal, and the rules governing appeals to that court from an order or decision of a judge of the Trial Division shall apply to appeals under this subsection.

(7) The board shall cause the registrar to implement the order or decision of the judge hearing the appeal, or of the Court of Appeal under subsection (6), and shall comply with the terms of an order made by that judge or the Court of Appeal.

1974 No119 s21; 1986 c42 Sch B

Back to Top

Licence to practice

21. (1) A person who is registered according to this Act in the medical register may apply to the registrar for and has the right to obtain from the registrar a licence to practice medicine in the province if the application is accompanied by a licence fee of an amount to be fixed by the board.

(2) The holder of a licence is entitled to engage in the practice of medicine within the province and to recover from a person, in a court of the province having jurisdiction to order payment from that person, reasonable charges for the provision of medical services by that licence holder.

(3) It is a condition of the issuing of a licence under this section that the person to whom the licence is issued shall within 1 month of the date of issuing become a member of the association, and the failure of that person to comply with this condition makes the licence void from that date.

(4) A licence issued under this section expires on January 15 following the day upon which it comes into force.

1974 No119 s22; 1984 c28 s4

Back to Top

Provisional licences

22. (1) The board may issue a provisional licence to a person who is not registered in the medical register upon being reasonably satisfied, after proper inquiry, that the person is the holder of qualifications similar to those required for registration under this Act.

(2) A provisional licence issued under subsection (1) shall

(a) be issued subject to the terms, conditions and limitations;

(b) be valid for a period not exceeding the period of 1 year; or

(c) permit the practice of medicine by the holder of the provisional licence within a specific location,

that may be set out in the licence.

(3) The holder of a provisional licence under this section has the right to engage in the practice of medicine subject only to the terms, conditions and limitations, for the period and the locality set out in the licence, and, except as provided in this section, subsection 21(2) applies to the holder of that provisional licence.

(4) A provisional licence shall not be renewed by the registrar without a specific direction from the board.

1974 No119 s23

Back to Top

Validity of certificates

23. Where, by a law now or in the future in force within the province, a certificate, statement or other document is or may be required to be given or signed by a physician, surgeon or medical practitioner, that certificate, statement or document is of no effect unless the person giving or signing it is the holder of a licence under this Act.

1974 No119 s24

Back to Top

Disciplinary action of board

24. Where the board is of the opinion or has reasonable cause to believe that a medical practitioner has committed professional misconduct or malpractice, or may be guilty of misconduct unbecoming a medical practitioner, or may, by the continuation in the practice of medicine, constitute a danger to the public or a person, the board may, after full inquiry, for the purposes of which the board and each member of the board are vested with all the powers that are or may be conferred on a commissioner by the Public Inquiries Act, and at that inquiry the medical practitioner or holder of the provisional licence shall have the right to be heard and represented by a barrister, solicitor or other person of his or her choice

(a) remove the name of the medical practitioner from the medical register or from the register of specialists;

(b) suspend the licence of the medical practitioner for a period that the board may prescribe;

(c) impose upon the medical practitioner a monetary penalty not exceeding the sum fixed by the regulations; and

(d) impose conditions or limitations on the medical practitioner in carrying out the practice of medicine.

1974 No119 s25

Back to Top

Limitation of action

25. A medical practitioner is not liable to an action for negligence or malpractice because of professional services requested or rendered unless the action is started within 2 years from the date when the professional services, giving rise to the matter complained of, terminated.

1975 No13 s2

Back to Top

Appeal

26. (1) A medical practitioner aggrieved by a decision of the board under section 24 may appeal to a judge of the Trial Division within 30 days after the decision of the board by filing in the office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court a notice of appeal and serving a copy of the notice on the board.

(2) Subsections 20(2) to (6) shall apply with the necessary changes to appeals under this section as they apply to that section, but the reference in subsection (5) to the upholding or revoking the refusal to register shall be a reference to upholding or revoking a decision of the board made under section 24.

1974 No119 s27; 1986 c42 Sch B

Back to Top

Emergency treatments: liability

27. The voluntary rendering by a medical practitioner of first aid or emergency treatment, without the expectation of monetary compensation, at the scene of an accident or other location, not within a hospital, medical practitioner's office or another place having proper and necessary medical equipment, to a person who is unconscious, ill or injured, shall not render the medical practitioner liable in damages for injuries alleged to have been sustained by that person or for the death of that person because of an act or omission in the rendering of first aid or emergency treatment, unless it is established that the injuries were, or the death was, caused by the gross negligence on the part of the medical practitioner.

1974 No119 s28

Back to Top

Protection from liability

28. A member of the board is not personally liable for a loss or damage suffered by a person by reason only of anything done or omitted to be done in good faith by that member in the performance of the duties of a member of the board.

1984 c28 s5

Back to Top

Conflicting legislation

29. (1) Nothing in an Act of the province shall be construed to prohibit or prevent a medical practitioner from doing, in the course of administering medical aid or treatment on the human body, anything for which a licence or permit may be required under that statute, and to recover reasonable charges for the service provided.

(2) Nothing in this Act shall affect or apply to the practice of medicine or a specialty or subspecialty of medicine, permitted to be carried out by a person under a statute of the province, by a person under

(a) the Optometry Act;

(b) the Pharmaceutical Association Act;

(c) the Registered Nurses Act;

(d) the Physiotherapy Act; and

(e) the Dental Act.

(3) Except in cases of persons practising under the Dental Act, subsection (2) does not apply to the practice of acupuncture, except

(a) in the circumstances; and

(b) by the persons or classes of persons

approved by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, which approval may be given only if a recommendation to that effect is made by the board.

(4) Nothing in the Pharmaceutical Association Act, shall be construed to prevent a medical practitioner from practising pharmacy and from making reasonable charges for pharmaceutical services rendered or goods supplied in emergency situations or when the services of a pharmacist are not readily available.

(5) Nothing in this Act shall limit or restrict the practice of medicine within the province by a physician or surgeon employed by the Government of Canada, but only for the purpose of carrying out the duties of employment by that government.

1974 No119 s29; 1975-76 No17 s2

Back to Top

Offence

30. (1) A person, other than a person who is licensed under this Act, shall not

(a) engage in the practice of medicine;

(b) hold himself or herself out or allege by advertisement, sign or statement of any kind to be entitled to engage in the practice of medicine; or

(c) take or use a name, title or description implying or calculated to lead the public to believe that he or she is licensed under this Act.

(2) A person who violates subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and is liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or to both a fine and imprisonment.

(3) In a prosecution under this section, the onus of proof that the person accused of the offence has the right or privilege to engage in the practice of medicine is on the person accused.

1974 No119 s30

©Earl G. Tucker, Queen's Printer