Some licence cancellation hearings for Manitoba health-care providers will be public under new legislation

The province says it wants to make sure licence cancellation hearings for medical professionals don’t happen behind closed doors, in what Manitoba’s health minister says is a move to rebuild trust with victims.Uzoma Asagwara introduced Bill 36, or The Regulated Health Professions Amendments Act, during question period on Wednesday.The bill will allow the public to learn when health-care workers, such as doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, are convicted of offences that may affect their suitability to continue in their job, the health minister said.”Thankfully, this isn’t something that is happening a lot or frequently in Manitoba,” they told reporters following question period.”But anytime that trust is broken between a provider and a Manitoban accessing health care, we have to do our part to take steps to restore that trust.”Asagwara told the Winnipeg Free Press last January that the province was open to making the changes that are now in Bill 36, after the newspaper learned that Dr. Arcel Bissonnette — convicted of sexually assaulting patients — would have a private licence-cancellation hearing.Asagwara says governments, colleges and regulatory bodies have to do their part to help victims when their trust in medical professionals is hurt.”It’s important that these proceedings are public. We’ve heard from survivors that transparency helps to rebuild trust.”The proposed legislation does contain some exceptions — for example, hearings could remain closed if they are matters of public security or may affect an ongoing civil or criminal proceeding, the province said in a news release.If regulatory bodies don’t publicize their hearings, Asagwara said they must publicly disclose the reason why.

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