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Protecting Patients Act, 2017: New changes take effect

As of May 1, 2018, new sections to the Protecting Patients Act, 2017 (Bill 87), which amend the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA), have come into effect. The changes include the following:

Definition of patient

Within the context of sexual abuse, an individual is considered to be a “patient” for a period of one year following the end of the therapeutic nurse-client relationship. This means that any sexual contact between a nurse and a patient or former patient within the one-year time frame is sexual abuse. It does not matter if the patient consented to the sexual acts.

Additional information on the public Register (Find a Nurse)

The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) already posts on the public Register most of what is required in Bill 87. Additional information to be posted on the public Register will now include the self-reporting of all professional licenses and registrations in any jurisdiction.

Funding eligibility for therapy and counselling for victims of sexual abuse

Patients can immediately apply for funding for therapy and counselling as soon as a complaint of sexual abuse is filed.

An expanded list of sexual abuse acts and other conduct resulting in mandatory revocation

Prior to the amendments made by the Bill 87, the RHPA provided a list of sexual acts resulting in mandatory revocation of a member’s certificate of registration. This list has been expanded as a result of the new changes to Bill 87.

CNO exists for one reason; to ensure the public receives safe nursing. We remain committed to do whatever is necessary to end all incidences of sexual abuse.

For information about CNO's role in a case of suspected sexual abuse of a patient by a nurse, please see www.cno.org/sexual-abuse


Page last reviewed May 01, 2018