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Fourth Session, Thirty-Ninth Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.   It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications or view the online bilingual version (PDF).

Bill 202

THE UNIVERSAL NEWBORN HEARING SCREENING ACT


Table of Contents Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

WHEREAS hearing loss occurs in newborns more frequently than any health condition for which newborn screening is currently required;

AND WHEREAS early detection of hearing loss, when combined with early intervention and follow-up, has been demonstrated to be highly effective in encouraging development of a child's health and communication and cognitive skills;

AND WHEREAS such early screening and intervention will serve the public purposes of promoting healthy development of children and reducing public expenditures for health care, special education and related services;

THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

Definitions

1(1)        The following definitions apply in this Act.

"health professional" means a person who is licensed or registered to provide health care under an Act of the Legislature or who is a member of a class of persons designated as health professionals in the regulations. (« professionnel de la santé »)

"hospital" means a hospital as defined in The Health Services Insurance Act. (« hôpital »)

Standard for newborn hearing screening

1(2)        For the purpose of this Act, a screening for hearing loss must be conducted in accordance with the most recent recommendations of the Canadian Working Group on Childhood Hearing with respect to infants.

Newborn hearing screening

2(1)        Subject to subsection (2) and unless a parent of the child objects, each newborn infant born in a hospital must be screened for hearing loss before being discharged.

Newborns to be referred

2(2)        If a child is born

(a) at a location other than a hospital; or

(b) at a hospital that does not provide infant hearing screening;

the attending health professional must, unless a parent of the child objects, refer the child to a hospital, other health care facility or health professional equipped for and capable of screening the child for hearing loss.

Regulations

3           The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations designating classes of persons as health professionals for the purpose of the definition "health professional" in section 1.

C.C.S.M. reference

4           This Act may be referred to as chapter U38 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

5           This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

Explanatory Note

Under this Bill, a newborn is required to be screened for hearing loss unless a parent objects.