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Prevention of Sexual Abuse

The College has zero tolerance for sexual abuse by its members. Abuse of a patient is never acceptable and is an act of professional misconduct.

The College is committed to preventing sexual abuse by its members by promoting awareness of its expectations and by effectively addressing patient complaints.

Sexual abuse is defined as:

  • Sexual intercourse or other forms of physical sexual relations between a health care professional a member and a patient;
  • Touching, of a sexual nature, of a patient or client by an health care professional the member; and or
  • Behaviour or remarks of sexual nature by a health care professional the member towards the patient or client.

This definition means that a member of the College cannot have a sexual relationship with a patient, even if the patient consents. This includes spouses. The College is seeking a regulatory amendment to permit members of the College to treat their spouses.

However, at this time, members are not permitted to treat their spouses. Unless and until the law is changed, any member who treats their spouse may be found guilty of sexual abuse by the Discipline Committee.

Sexual abuse is professional misconduct. If allegations of sexual abuse are proven, the Discipline Committee can order any of the following:

  • Revocation
  • Suspension of the member’s certificate of registration
  • Terms, conditions or limitations on the member’s certificate of registration
  • A reprimand (note that a reprimand is mandatory for all sexual abuse cases)
  • A fine
  • Reimbursement to the College for funding for therapy and counseling (including posting acceptable security)
  • Costs to be paid to the College

Please note that if the Discipline Committee determines that the sexual abuse involved certain physical sexual acts (defined as sexual intercourse, genital to genital, genital to anal, oral to genital or oral to anal contact, masturbation of the member by, or in the presence of the patient, masturbation of the patient by the member, or encouragement of the patient by the member to masturbate in the presence of the member), then the Discipline Committee must revoke the member. Further, the member is not allowed to apply for reinstatement to the College for five years.

If you have been sexually abused by an Registered Traditional Chinese Practitioner, you may be eligible to receive funding for therapy and counselling from the College.

The Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA), mandates that each regulatory college has the responsibility to create and administer a fund for therapy and counselling for patients who have been sexually abused by a member. (RHPA, 1991, c. 18, Sched. 2 s. 85.7 (2) and (3)) This funding program is administered by the Patient Relations Committee. The Patient Relations Committee is a statutory committee of College, which his composed of both Professional and Public Council members.

Eligibility

Currently a person is eligible for funding if a Discipline Committee finds that the person, while a patient, was sexually abused by a practitioner. A patient’s eligibility is not affected by an appeal from the panel’s finding.

Choice of Therapist or Counselor

The patient may choose the therapist or counselor of their choice. However, there are a couple of eligibility criteria:

  1. The therapist or counselor cannot be a relative of the patient
  2. The therapist or counselor cannot be, to the College’s knowledge, at any time or in any jurisdiction been found guilty of professional misconduct of a sexual nature or been found civilly or criminally liable for an act of a similar nature.
  3. If the therapist or counselor is NOT a member of a regulated health profession, the College may require the patient to sign a document indicating that he or she is not subject to professional discipline.

Funding

Funding is paid directly to the therapist or counselor chosen by the patient, not the person, and can only be used to pay for therapy or counselling related to the sexual abuse. The therapist or counselor will be requested to submit his or her invoices to the College. Patients can access the funding for more than one therapist if these choose to do so.

The amount of funding provided will be reduced by any amount reimbursed by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) or a private insurer during the relevant time period. Patients are required to use other available sources of funding, such as private insurance, first.

The maximum period for coverage for counselling and therapy is five years from:

  1. The date that the person first received therapy related to the sexual abuse for which the person is requesting funding, OR,
  2. The date the Discipline Committee found that the practitioner committed sexual abuse.

The maximum amount of funding that may be provided to a person in respect of sexual abuse is the amount that the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) would pay for 200 half hour sessions of individual outpatient psychotherapy with a psychiatrist on the day the person becomes eligible for funding.

How to Apply

An application and related documents are to be completed and submitted in order to apply for funding for therapy or counselling for patients sexually abused by a Registered traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner and/or Acupuncturist.

Form A Application for Funding For Therapy and Counselling To be completed by Patient
You are required to complete this form to apply for funding. The form contains the information that the Patient Relations Committee requires to assess your eligibility. At this stage you are not required to provide a counsellor or therapists name.

Form B Therapist or Counsellor Information To be completed by Patient and Therapist or Counselor
This form may be submitted at the same time as Form A if you already have chosen a therapist or counsellor. If you haven’t, you can submit it after the Patient Relations Committee has made a decision regarding your eligibility, and you have selected a therapist or counsellor. This form provides the Patient Relations Committee with information regarding the therapist or counsellor you would like to see/are seeing. Please note complete this form must be completed before funding can begin.

Form C Request for Reimbursement of Past Therapy Costs To be completed by Patient
This form allows you to request reimbursement for out of pocket past therapy costs. You must complete and submit it at the same time as Form A. Please note that you are required to provide us with invoices/receipts.

Form D Invoice To be completed by Patient and Therapist or Counselor
If the Patient Relations Committee finds you are eligible for funding and you have submitted Form B, then your therapist or counsellor needs to complete and send us this form every time they send us an invoice. We require this form before we can make payment to the therapist or counsellor.

Funding for Therapy and Counselling information Sheet

Completed applications should be mailed to:

  • Patient Relations Committee
  • 55 Commerce Valley Drive West, Suite 705
  • Thornhill ON L7T 7V9

If you have any further questions regarding the funding program for Therapy and Counseling Program, please contact the College.

Members have a statutory duty to file a report if they have reasonable grounds, obtained in the course of practising the profession, to believe that another regulated health professional has sexually abused a patient. Therefore, if a member learns that a member of this College, or another regulated health college, has sexually abused a patient, the member must file a written report. The report must be addressed to the Registrar of the college to which the regulated health professional in question belongs. Failure to make such a report is considered an offence and is punishable by fines up to $25,000 for a first offence and $50,000 for a second offence. A failure to make such a report could also result in a finding of professional misconduct.

In addition, a person who operates a facility where one or more regulated health professionals practise must file a report if he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that a regulated health professional who practises at the facility has sexually abused a patient. A facility operator which is a corporation may be subject to fines of $50,000 for a first offence and up to $200,000 for a second offence.

To make a report to the College, please contact us by email at professionalpractice@ctcmpao.on.ca or by telephone at 416.238.7359

Members should refer to the Jurisprudence Course Handbook for more details regarding mandatory reports.

Please also see sections 85.1, 85.2, 85.3, 85.4, 85.5, 85.6, 85.6.1 and 85.6.2 of the Health Professions Procedural Code, being Schedule 2 to the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.