Senator calls for national bad doctor registry in wake of Star investigation
2019-01-11 from thestar.com
For decades, Marilou McPhedran worked to strengthen patient-protection laws in Ontario. The human rights lawyer chaired three task forces to combat sexual abuse of patients by doctors, producing hundreds of pages of reports for government with bold recommendations.
But all McPhedran sees is unfinished business.
She’s now seizing her position as independent senator to make one more aggressive bid to spark a federal review of the issues and solutions that she says medical regulators and health ministries across the country have ignored at the public’s peril.
“There can be, there should be, there needs to be a national database,” she said, that identifies physicians found guilty of serious misconduct, starting with those who sexually exploit and abuse their patients.
McPhedran lauded the Toronto Star’s ongoing “Medical Disorder” investigation as an impetus for her new campaign. The Star tracked more than 150 doctors who have held medical licences on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border and faced regulatory discipline for misconduct or incompetence. The data showed that in 90 per cent of cases, Canada’s medical watchdogs failed to share these doctors’ disciplinary histories with the public, even when they involved charges of rape, murder and child pornography.
Creating a “permanent record” that captures sexual offenders across the country is just a start, McPhedran said. In light of the Star investigation, McPhedran said she’s reviewing the evidence to support broadening the database initiative to include doctors who are disciplined for all forms of misconduct and incompetence.
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