The Chief Medical Officer of Health has amended Directive 2 to state that Health Care Providers, which includes members of this College, may gradually restart non-essential and elective services. This amendment is effective immediately. Members need to review the amended Directive 2 to ensure compliance. The amended Directive 2 comes with several conditions that members must meet before they resume their in-person practice. We provide a high-level overview below:
- Members must comply with the requirements set out in COVID-19 Operational Requirements: Health Sector Restart (May 26, 2020 or as current). This is a Ministry document that covers requirements for risk assessments, hierarchy of hazard controls, screening, health human resources, critical supplies and equipment, infection control and more.
- Members should use telemedicine or virtual care where possible and appropriate to avoid having patients physically come to the clinic.
- Members must be able to source personal protective equipment (PPE) through their regular supply chain. If you are experiencing difficulty sourcing PPE, the Government has made available a directory of PPE suppliers.
The amended Directive 2 states that healthcare providers are in the best position to determine which services should resume in person, and which should resume virtually. However, members should consider the following when making this determination:
- Your own ability to resume services at this time.
- The need to minimize harm to patients.
- The need to treat all patients with the same clinical needs equally.
- The need to ensure that those who continue to be burdened by the limited capacity of the health care system have their health monitored, receive appropriate care, and be re-evaluated for emergent activities should they require them.
Along with the Ministry’s COVID-19 Operational Requirements: Health Sector Restart document, the College has made available the Return to Practice – One Page Summary, to help members return to work safely. The College will be reviewing the Ministry recommendations and issuing a more detailed guidance document shortly, and will continue to work on materials to help members minimize the risk of infection in their practice. The College is interested in member’s feedback on guidance documents so that we can better prepare members to deal with this challenge.
If there are any inconsistencies between College documents and the requirements set out in the amended Directive 2 and the COVID-19 Operational Requirements: Health Sector Restart document, members should rely on the documents issued by the Ministry.
Please see below for links to documents members are required to follow at this time.
COVID-19 Operational Requirements: Health Sector Restart (May 26, 2020 or as current)
Return to Practice Guidance – One Page Summary