Does Ontario have too many under-regulated health workers?

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  • Carlyle Buchanan says:

    I found your article extremely insightful but worrisome particular given the escalating healthcare costs within the next 10-15 years.

    I would be interested in attending one of your next round table events in the GTA.

    Thank you.

  • a REAL Nurse says:

    I am an RN and I despise working with PSWs in areas of the hospital where it is not safe to have them.

    I have yet to meet one that is not outright disrespectful to the RN’S, takes 3 hour breaks, is more concerned about gossiping or theit own insecurities, nevermind their abuse towards patients or leaving patients lying in filth.

    And these are really really sick patients. Weren’t PSW s created for HOME CARE and LONG TERM CARE???

    If you want to bring your family member to a hospital – find out who your “nurse” is. Because it’s likely someone with zero medical training and not even close to bring a nurse.

    Welcome to Trying to Survive in certain Ontario Hospitals 2017. Good luck

  • AnonWhatever says:

    PSW’s should ONLY work in long-term care and home care.

    No wonder hospitals get sued!!!

    • Allegra Filopolo says:

      Lol and they want to save $$.
      Best way – get rid of the ones that aren’t needed and bring down the value

      Care aides only disrespect registered staff and I see them standing around, they pretend they are nurses. I always ask and go to another place

      No way…maybe if my family member was at home for sure but not in the hospital

  • PSW's at acute care hospitals = dangerous says:

    Unregulated PSW’s or Care Aides should NEVER be employed by an acute care hospital.

    They have a role but ONLY in long term care, home care, retirement homes and etc.

    It’s horrific to think they work in a hospital with IV lines, tracheostomies, ventilators, blood transfusions

    The public needs to know if they or their family member are entering an acute care hospital that has UCP’s on units with very ill patients.

    Even worse is if they call themselves an RPN or an RN, wear similar clothing and yet have never gone to school.

    • Nurse only hospitals says:

      I agree.

      they were created for long term care and home care.

      I will only go to hospitals that are staffed by RN- RPN.

      Look it up… can find the ones that only employ nurses. These are usually the beat hospitals.

  • John G. Kelly says:

    The problem with allowing a full-fledged self-regulated profession to include a “para-profession” under its regulatory umbrella is that it’s in danger of becoming a containment policy to limit expansion. A primary example is the inclusion of independent paralegals in Ontario under the umbrella of the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC). There is clearly a public need for the expansion of the “limited legal service” mandate of the paralegals. However, despite a five year review in 2012 calling for an expansion and a series of access to justice reports the LSUC stubbornly refuses to let independent paralegals invade the turf of lawyers’ income services.

  • christine says:

    Something most people do not realize is that the RHPA regulatory colleges are NOT government agencies, NOT accountable to the public, and NOT even subject to FOI legislation. They are corporations… but they are EXEMPT from the Corporations Act. They run wild, driving up prices for practitioners and their clients by making Members jump through ridiculous hoops to the point of mental, emotional and financial exhaustion and frustration, and are highly influenced by an INTERNATIONAL, NWO organization (“CLEAR”, Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation) that trains members to subvert democracy within their own jurisdictions.

    The recently-resigned Registrar of CRPO, career bureaucrat and CLEAR member Joyce Rowlands, is a perfect example of how this works. To call this “self-regulation” is ridiculous.

    We are being regulated to death, literally. The regulation we currently have is not remotely working for public safety, as was intended – by regulating ONLY the acts that are truly inherently risky and leaving every else alone. Instead it props up self-serving career-regulators, Big Pharma and the Medical Mafia, who have always been on a mission to eliminate all competition to their epically disastrous approach to healthcare.

  • Grace Joubarne says:

    The more regulation by the government, the more costly and the more danger the public is put in, because once the public is disempowered and unable to make their own decision based on outcomes, the marketplace becomes filled with those who would not otherwise make it in an open marketplace.

    The rules and regulations ARE NOT made at these Colleges by practitioners and peers, but by those with little to no training whatever in the professions they are regulating. In Ontario, the regulated professions are ‘directed and influenced’ by the front non-profit corporation FHCRO that has insinuated itself into our healthcare system, claiming to help the colleges regulate. However, the colleges are streamed to the interntional training business called CLEAR…getting us all ready for international regulatory agendas under the TPP/TISA.

    All regulation under the RHPA is in the bio-medical model. It is a disaster and now, since the expanded regulation in Ontario, Ontario is reated as the worst healthcare provision in Canada. Top-notch front-line practitioners who the public paid for out-of-pocket are now gone…unable to pay the extortion fees charged as membership and fully disgusted with having to take ‘training and upgrading’ that they do not need and at extreme costs in time and money…just to satisfy self-licking ice-cream cones.

    The ONLY system that is working in the public interest is the unregulated system…proven by at least 2 Fraser Institute studies in 2006-2007 to be completely safe, saving the imploding regulated system $7-10 billion annually, that amount to double every 10 years.

    There is not a single healthcare regulatory College in Ontario that can claim to be of any benefit to the public. In fact, the College of Physicians and Surgeons is part of the medical system that is now the leading cause of death and disability in North America. Psychology (and by extension psychotherapy), the recent Texas Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal has stated is ‘unscientific’ and Psychology laws unconstitutional…yet in Ontario, they are undermining the entire holistic industry and taking over all mental health care under the RHPA, forcing all practitioners to join the new College of Registered Psychotherapists, complete with Standards of Practice demanding mental illness diagnoses and pharmacology training. Imagine that, now in Ontario, you will have to see a Registered Psychotherapist to get grief counselling, a mental illness diagnosis and drugs…whereas holistic spiritual care practitioners use to be able to help people humanely.

  • jeff van pelt says:

    Mr. Theriault talks about private paramedics when he in fact there is no such thing. To be in a position of responsibility with a Provincial College and continuing with this rhetoric is rather nefarious. To be a Paramedic in the province of Ontario according to the Ambulance Act you must be employed by an ambulance service. Stop using the term differently. You state you want title protection of the term Paramedic yet you use it very loosely yourself and it is disrespectful. Additionally doctors know very well what we are skilled at and as a provincial body decide what we can and cannot do. It is a little pompous to think one knows better than a physician who has many more years of education and a group of physicians that set our standards. Yes we get that he and the OPA want a regulatory body. Accept the fact that HPRAC recognized that in the province of Ontario we are already well regulated. HPRAC said it, doctors have said it, most paramedics are saying it. Paramedics are one of the most trusted professions in this country and putting misleading information out there known to be untrue for the sole purpose to fear monger is inappropriate. We are a trusted profession for a reason.

    • Scott luce says:

      To hold MAC up as a shining beacon is ludicis. Recent decisions from a single strong willed physician has cut PCP’s ability to deliver pain relief in half. Protocols need to be based in science, with evidence based research. (More than a single study) Also recent PCP and ACP advisors (who have no voting rights in our own profession) have told me they are largely ignored in MAC discussions.

    • Michael Fitzgerald says:

      That’s entirely incorrect. The Ambulance Act simply defines “paramedic” for the purposes of the Act. Similarly, O. Reg. 257-00 defines “primary care paramedic’, “advanced care paramedic” and “critical care paramedic” for the purpose of the Regulation. The key phrases, respectively, are “In this Act” and “In this Regulation”. In no way does this correspond to the title protection provided under the RHPA, e.g., for doctors in s. 33(1) (“Except as allowed in the regulations under this Act, no person shall use the title “doctor”…”) and for nurses in the Nursing Act s. 11(1) (“No person other than a member shall use the title “nurse”, “nurse practitioner”, “registered nurse”, or “registered practical nurse”…”).

      That discrepancy was pointed out in the OPA’s application to HPRAC, pp. 17-18.

  • A Concerned PA says:

    Physician Assitant’s really should be regulated in Ontario as they are in other provinces and currently with lack of regulation in Ontario there are people being hired into the PA role that have not completed Physician Assistant training or Certification. This current practice can certainly put the public at risk.

    • Grace Joubarne says:

      Why build an entire self-licking ice-cream cone bureacracy at million of dollars to break the backs of innocent practitioners when a simple requirement for certification or other proof of training would do? These colleges are driving people clear out of their professions…the public does not gain…it loses big time. Ontario, just since it’s rabid ‘regulation’ of everything that moves, is now providing the WORST healthcare in Canada.

      CERTIFICATION and proof of training is more than enough. Prior to this expansion of regulation for any reason (especially to provide lots of jobs for those who do nothing to help front-line provision of health care) we had a good, affordable system. When studies show that the unregulated professionals are safe and effective and the public is happy to pay-out-of-pocket for their services, it is time to get the government out of our lives before we are buried alive in useless Master’s degrees.

  • Spencer Jones says:

    This article is highly misleading in respect to Paramedics. As opposed to most RHP’s who have only 1 level of oversight , Paramedics have 3 seperate and distinct and independent levels of oversight.
    More than sufficient oversight.

    • Grace Joubarne says:

      Just another bunch trying to create a position for themselves…always misleading, biased and pro bio-medical. The more every profession is regulated in the image of the bio-medical system, the more everyone loses…Ontario now has the worst healthcare system in Canada.

      Get the Wynne government out of our lives or we won’t have one.

  • Jamie Ramage says:

    Rob Theriault continues use the term “private paramedics” as a justification for a regulatory college for paramedics. One only has to turn to the Ambulance Act and its regulations for the definition of a paramedic. A paramedic in ontario must meet the standards which include employment in a recognized ambulance service provider and be certified by a base hospital physician. This definition is further affirmed in HPRACs December 2013 report on Paramedic regulation. HPRAC (Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council) in this report also recommended that paramedics do not require a regulatory college given their present state of governance, as they do not form a risk of harm to the public.
    Despite Theriaults comment that the current system could pose a barrier in setting up community paramedicine programs, the Minister of Health today committed to continued funding and working towards a long term plan.

    • Seb Duval says:

      I understand that the Ministry committed in continued funding to the community paramedic program, but it’s the base hospital that permits Paramedic to perform medical acts. Therefore handcuffing Paramedics in gaining more skills or performing the ones they already know if they decide not to grant them the right to do so. These restraint prevent the Paramedics from reaching their full potential as community servant and at the same time care given to the public is not optimal. Paramedics are not deemed dangerous to the public but also the public as no information on disciplinary actions taken against paramedics. Those disciplinary actions are also inconsistent.

      • Catherine says:

        And why does the public need access to disciplinary actions? If someone is in a private practice and the public has the option to choose a practitioner they may require that information but when you call 911 you don’t get to pick who arrives at your door.

      • Sebastien says:

        Public practioners, even though they’re might only be one of a certain discipline in your county are subject to those procedures by their colleges. It’s about transparency and making sure the highest quality health care is given to the public.

      • Grace Joubarne says:

        Colleges by their own statements ensure ‘minimum standards’ not the highest standards. The free marketplace ensures the highest standards…if you don’t provide the best service in a fee marketplace, you are out of business very quickly.

        This regulation of everything is a protection racket and it ensures that everything is forced into a bio-medical box, for total regulation by medical supremacists who have not earned their positions at the head of our healthcare system. In fact, if the CPSO and FHCRO were banned, the police would be handling sexual abuse by doctors properly, the Health Care Consent Act would be properly enforced and we would have the best, not the worst healthcare treatments.

      • Grace Joubarne says:

        You points are valid for every profession brought under RHPA regulation since 2006…its a protection racket. Driving practitioners out of their professions, driving costs up for the public and ensuring a worsening situation in Ontario healthcare, although most people don’t think it can get much worse.

        Never is there the required study done to prove that interference with a profession is remotely required. Instead, it’s all done as a matter of ‘opinion’ of those who never do front-line work. They find one or two stories and massage them to death until they get another bureaucracy built and a cushy job to boot.

    • Corey says:

      Nailed it

    • christine says:

      Ontario’s then Health Minister also ignored HPRAC’s advise regarding an RHPA controlled act of “psychotherapy”, which HPRAC stated years ago would be completely unfeasible but the MOH went ahead with it anyways. Now we have “psychotherapy” legislation that was buried in an Omnibus bill, sneakily designed to eliminate the entire safe, valued holistic healthcare industry.

  • Elizabeth Rankin says:

    The self regulation process hasn’t worked as well as it should. Whether those hearing the case intend to tread lightly on those “they” regulate is based on the fear: “There, but by the grace of God go I…I’m not sure.

    However, there have been far too many complaints lodged, particularly against physicians, who’ve clearly violated the public’s trust, yet they remain in practice despite a CPSO hearing. Case in point: a recent CBC Fifth Estate program revealed how a London Psychiatrist had betrayed the trust of several female patients over an extended period of time yet never lost his license.

    While the concept of self regulation might have some merit the process is in need of an overhaul. The fox guarding the henhouse hasn’t worked, at least not with the CPSO.

    • Grace Joubarne says:

      perfect assessment. The more regulation, the more unsafe we are because the foxes are morally and ethically bankrupt and worse, they have one thought in mind…creating more work for themselves on the backs of the poor practitioners who have to pay their salaries.

  • Julie says:

    Us PSWS need to keep up involvement on these topics….. Especially to support those that work in retirement homes where the care and demand vary. And there are less staff to report to unlike nursing homes and hospitals…..


Wendy Glauser


Wendy is a freelance health and science journalist and a former staff reporter with Healthy Debate.

Mike Tierney


Mike is the Vice President of Clinical Programs at Ottawa Hospital.

Michael Nolan


Michael Nolan has served Canadians through many facets of Paramedic Services.  He is currently the Director and Chief of the Paramedic Service for the County of Renfrew and strategic advisor to Healthy Debate

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