QCIPA – Explaining the Controversy

by | Apr 1, 2015 | Uncategorized

QCIPA – Explaining the Controversy

Every day, thousands of Canadians put their lives in the hands of medical professionals, trusting that they will receive the finest care possible. In the few cases where something goes wrong, these medical practitioners, not to mention the administrators that oversee them, have a duty to both the patient and the wider public to examine what went wrong and take steps to prevent future occurrences.

The QCIPA, or Quality of Care Information Protection Act, was passed in 2004 with the express intent of allowing those in the healthcare field to speak up about medical errors without compromising patient confidentiality, and, as a result, encourage accountability in the community. This is explicitly stated by the Ontario Ministry of Health, which writes:

The Act promotes the sharing of information and open discussions among health professionals, which can lead to improved patient care and safety. For example, more openness about errors can result in potential solutions to ensure they do not recur.

However, with the tragic suicide of a young man under a Brampton hospital’s psychiatric care, both the hospital and the QCIPA have come under fire as they refuse to disclose the details surrounding the death, even to the man’s immediate family.

While many Canadians take comfort in knowing that their patient records are confidential, some accuse hospitals of misusing the QCIPA to shield themselves from public responsibility. The Act itself trumps The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, meaning that interested parties, including families, have no legal avenue for finding out the details of what occurred, in what area the hospital failed the patient, or what practical, corrective steps are being taken.

Some in the medical community, however, argue that the QCIPA itself is not to blame, but rather the hospitals distortion or, at worst, poorly draftedlegislation. One hospital, Toronto East General, reviewed 15 incidents in three years, none under QCIPA, believing that patient privacy protection and hospital transparency are not mutually exclusive. In the same time period, by contrast, University Health Network used QCIPA in all 96 critical incident reviews, with similar results in many Toronto area hospitals.

All this begs the question: who exactly are the hospitals protecting – their patients, or themselves? While the family of the Brampton man continues to search for answers, the province itself is reviewing the Act in the aftermath of the tragedy.

If you are the victim of a similar oversight by the medical community, the medical malpractice experts at Mackesy Smye may be able to help.


Personal Injuries at Provincial Campgrounds

Personal Injuries in Provincial Parks – do you know what to do if you get hurt at a provincially run campground this summer? And what about deadlines? Learn who’s accountable and how quickly you need to consult with a lawyer.

Suing for Whiplash – A Pain in the Neck

Whiplash is perhaps the most common injury associated with auto collisions. But many insurance companies are suspicious of whiplash claims and will do anything to deny payment. Read the full article to learn more.

Personal Injury Claims & Social Media

Don’t Self-Sabotage on Social Media – the defence is looking to discredit you, and you might be giving them everything they need. Use social media responsibly during your trial so that your posts can’t be used against you – read the full article to learn more.

Slips, Trips & Falls – Business vs Private Residence

Where you had your accident can matter as much as why you got hurt. The Occupier’s Liability Act holds businesses and homes to different standards. Find out how this could affect your case, read the full article to learn more.

Bicycle Accidents and Personal Injuries

Cyclists assume way more risk than drivers. And if the two ever collide, the cyclist’s injuries could be serious and permanent. If you’ve been hurt in an accident involving a car or truck read the full article to learn more.

Loss of Limb – Potential Impacts to Lawsuit

The nature and severity of amputation make it unique among personal injury claims. Make sure you’re taking everything into consideration before submitting your claim – read the full article to learn more.

Dangerous Street Racing & Stunt Driving – Personal Injury Lawsuits

We’re already sharing the road with self-driving cars. But who’s at fault when they get involved in accidents that cause injuries to other drivers? And can you sue? Read the full article to learn more..

Personal Injury and the Canada Revenue Agency

If you win a personal injury lawsuit in Ontario, how much will you lose in taxes? How do you hold onto it and keep it out of the hands of the taxman? Click here to learn about tax-free structured annuities.

Autonomous Driving Accidents & Personal Injury

We’re already sharing the road with self-driving cars. But who’s at fault when they get involved in accidents that cause injuries to other drivers? And can you sue? Read the full article to learn more..

Personal Injury Claims & Accidents Involving Uber or Lyft Drivers

When ridesharing becomes accident-sharing – who’s responsible for injuries when Lyft and Uber drivers are involved in a crash? For simple answers to this complex and complicated question, click here for our comprehensive guide to ridesharing injuries.