Confidentiality of Personal Health Information – Preliminary Consultation (CLOSED)

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    The consultation is now closed.

    Our Process

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    The College’s Confidentiality of Personal Health Information policy is currently under review. The policy sets out physicians’ legal and professional obligation to protect the privacy and confidentiality of patients’ personal health information. It also outlines the limited circumstances where the disclosure of personal health information without a patient’s consent is permitted or required by law.

    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 the 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…



    In order to preserve trust in the physician-patient relationship, patients must be confident that their personal health information will remain confidential. Patients share sensitive information with physicians, and have the utmost faith that the privacy and confidentiality of this information will be protected.

    The purpose of the policy review is to evaluate the current policy in light of recent changes made to the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004. Further, our aim is to to assess the current policy and determine what revisions may be required to ensure that the policy is clear, informative, and reflective of the privacy and confidentiality issues often encountered in medical 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 clearly articulate the physician’s professional obligations with respect to protecting patient privacy and confidentiality; as well as circumstances in which confidential personal health information may be disclosed without the patient’s consent?
          • 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 should be improved?

    Please provide your feedback by July 31, 2017.

    Next Steps

    The College is committed to ensuring that the Confidentiality of Personal Health Information policy 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.


    Contact us by


    Send us your feedback by mail:

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

    Attention: Policy Department