The Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA)
requires Members to notify the local medical officer of health
in their Public Health Unit as soon as possible if they believe that the person that they are treating has, or may have, a reportable disease, such as influenza, Lyme disease and mumps. The complete list of reportable diseases can be found in the Specification of Reportable Diseases
regulation (O.Reg. 559/91) made under the HPPA
. For the purposes of this article, we will refer to the report as the Reportable Disease Report.
According to the Reports
regulation (O. Reg. 569) made under the HPPA, a Reportable Disease Report must contain the following information about the person:
- name and address in full,
- date of birth in full,
- sex, and
- date of onset of symptoms.
The Member is also required to provide any additional information regarding the reportable disease that the medical officer of health considers necessary.
Public Health Unit locations and contact information
In the case of specified diseases, including but not limited to chicken pox and measles, the Reports regulation requires the Member to provide information in addition to that which is listed above. This includes (but is not limited to) the date of the diagnosis, laboratory findings, current treatment of the infection and the travel history of the person. All reporting requirements can be found in the Reports regulation. It is important for Members to be aware of the varying reporting requirements when completing a Reportable Disease Report.
The duty to report reportable diseases, includes providing identifying information and as such does not require the patient to first provide consent to disclose his or her personal health information.
The HPPA provides that a civil action, or other proceeding, cannot be commenced against a Member if they made a Reportable Disease Report "in good faith." This means that as long as the Member does their best, and does not file a Reportable Disease Report with malice or ill intent, they will be statutorily protected. If a Member fails to make a Reportable Disease Report when it is required, they can be found guilty of a provincial offence. This could result in a fine of up to $5,000 for every day, or part of a day, that the Ontario naturopath fails to comply. Further, it could also be considered an act of professional misconduct by the College.