Accepting New Patients (Consultation Closed)

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    Our Process

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    The College’s Accepting New Patients policy is currently under review. The policy sets expectations for physicians when accepting new patients into their primary care practices. The policy emphasizes that physicians must accept new patients in a fair and professional manner to ensure equitable access to care.

    View the current policy

    To assist with this review, we are inviting feedback from all stakeholders, including members of the medical profession, the public, health system organizations and other health professionals on the current policy. Comments received during this preliminary consultation will assist the College in updating the policy. When a revised draft is developed, it will be recirculated for further comment before it is finalized by Council.


    We want to hear your thoughts on the current policy…



    Access to physicians is a concern for the public, the medical profession and the government. The College is aware that screening tools are sometimes employed by physicians to manage their patient load. The College discourages these practices, as they may be or may appear to be discriminatory. The College also recognizes that the use of screening tools could potentially deny patients, particularly those with complex care needs, access to care. These practices are neither fair nor equitable and compromise public trust in the profession.

    The current Accepting New Patients policy sets expectations for physicians when accepting new patients into their primary care practices. The policy advises that physicians should accept or refuse new patients on a first-come, first-served basis, and prohibits discriminatory screening practices. The policy provides that clinical competence and scope of practice are permissible grounds for limiting patient entry into a practice.

    Have Your Say

    We would like to hear your thoughts on the current policy, along with suggestions you may have for how the policy could be improved.

    In particular, we are interested to know:

        • Does the policy provide useful guidance?
        • Are there issues not addressed in the current policy that should be addressed? If so, what are they?
        • Are there other ways in which the policy could be improved?

    Please provide your feedback by August 7, 2015.

    Next Steps

    The College is committed to ensuring that the Accepting New Patients policy reflects current practice issues, embodies the values and duties of medical professionalism, and is consistent with the College’s mandate to protect the public. The feedback obtained during this consultation will be carefully reviewed and used to evaluate the draft. While it may not be possible to ensure that every comment or suggested edit will be incorporated into the revised policy, all comments will be carefully considered.

    Once a revised draft policy has been developed, stakeholders will be invited to review the revised document and provide further feedback before it is considered for final approval by Council.

    Final decisions regarding policy revisions are made by College Council.

    To ensure transparency, the College will post all consultation feedback in accordance with our posting guidelines.

    We value your feedback and thank you again for participating in our policy review process.


    View feedback

    View the feedback received to date

    Send us your feedback by mail:

    College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
    80 College Street
    Toronto, Ontario

    Attention: Policy Department