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C.C.S.M. c. P144
The Protection for Persons in Care Act
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(Assented to August 18, 2000)
HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
In this Act,
"abuse" means, subject to subsection (2), an act or omission that
(a) is mistreatment, whether physical, sexual, mental, emotional, financial or a combination of any of them, and
(b) causes or is reasonably likely to cause
(i) death of a patient,
(ii) serious physical or psychological harm to a patient, or
(iii) significant loss to a patient's property,
but does not include neglect; (« mauvais traitements »)
"adult abuse registry committee" means the Adult Abuse Registry Committee under The Adult Abuse Registry Act; (« comité de protection contre les mauvais traitements infligés aux adultes »)
"committee" means a committee appointed under The Mental Health Act; (« curateur »)
"health facility" means
(a) a hospital designated by regulation under The Health Services Insurance Act,
(b) a personal care home designated by regulation under The Health Services Insurance Act, or
(c) an institution or organization designated as a health facility by regulation under section 13; (« établissement de santé »)
"investigator" means a person designated under section 5 as an investigator or appointed under that section to investigate a report of abuse or neglect; (« enquêteur »)
"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act; (« ministre »)
"neglect" means, subject to subsection (2), an act or omission that
(a) is mistreatment that deprives a patient of adequate care, adequate medical attention or other necessaries of life, or a combination of any of them, and
(b) causes or is reasonably likely to cause
(i) death of a patient, or
(ii) serious physical or psychological harm to a patient; (« négligence »)
"patient" means an adult who
(a) is a resident or an in-patient in a health facility or is receiving respite care in such a facility,
(b) is receiving services in a geriatric day hospital that is managed by a hospital designated by regulation under The Health Services Insurance Act,
(c) is receiving services in an emergency department or urgent care centre of a health facility, or
(d) is receiving any other services provided by a health facility that are specified in the regulations,
but does not include a vulnerable person within the meaning of The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act; (« patient »)
"personal health information" means personal health information as defined in The Personal Health Information Act; (« renseignements médicaux personnels »)
"personal information" means personal information as defined in The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act; (« renseignements personnels »)
"proxy" means a proxy appointed in accordance with The Health Care Directives Act; (« mandataire »)
"service provider" means a person who provides services to a patient and is employed by, or provides the services on behalf of, a health facility; (« fournisseur de services »)
"specified adult" means a specified adult as defined in The Adult Abuse Registry Act or the regulations under that Act. (« adulte visé »)
The following do not constitute abuse or neglect:
(a) an act or omission that is the result of, or is attributable to,
(i) a patient's refusal of care, or
(ii) a decision made on behalf of a patient by his or her committee or proxy;
(b) an act or omission in the circumstances set out in the regulations.
DUTY TO PROTECT PATIENTS FROM ABUSE OR NEGLECT
The operator of a health facility has a duty to protect the patients of the facility from abuse or neglect and to maintain a reasonable level of safety for them.
REPORTING ABUSE OR NEGLECT
A service provider or other person who has a reasonable basis to believe that a patient is, or is likely to be, abused or neglected shall promptly report the belief, and the information on which it is based, to the minister or the minister's delegate.
The duty to report applies even if the information on which the person's belief is based is confidential and its disclosure is restricted by legislation or otherwise. But it does not apply to information that is privileged because of a solicitor-client relationship.
A patient may report abuse or neglect against himself or herself to the minister or the minister's delegate.
INVESTIGATING REPORTS OF ABUSE OR NEGLECT
On receiving a report of abuse or neglect under this Act, the minister shall inquire into the matter and shall consider whether a more extensive investigation is warranted.
If, after inquiry, the minister finds there are reasonable grounds to believe that a patient is or is likely to be abused or neglected, he or she shall refer the matter to an investigator to carry out a more extensive investigation.
As soon as practicable after referring the matter to an investigator, the minister shall notify the patient that a report of abuse or neglect has been made and that an investigation is to be conducted. If the patient has a committee, the notice is to be given to the committee instead.
(a) may designate as investigators one or more persons or classes of persons employed by the government under the minister; and
(b) may appoint any other person to investigate a report of abuse or neglect specified in the appointment.
For the purpose of investigating a report of abuse or neglect under this Act, an investigator may enter a health facility at any reasonable time, on presenting identification when requested to do so.
The investigator may require any person who is able, in the investigator's opinion, to give information about the matter being investigated,
(a) to give the information to the investigator; and
(b) to produce for examination or copying any record or other thing — including personal information and personal health information — that, in the investigator's opinion, relates to the matter being investigated and that may be in that person's possession or control.
The operator of a health facility and any person required to give information or produce a record or other thing shall give the investigator all reasonable assistance and all information that the investigator reasonably requires.
A justice who is satisfied by information on oath that an investigator has been prevented from exercising his or her powers under this section may at any time issue a warrant authorizing the investigator, and any other person named in the warrant, to exercise those powers.
Nothing in this section abrogates a privilege that may exist because of a solicitor-client relationship.
On completing an investigation, the investigator shall set out his or her conclusions and the reasons for them in a report and give it to the minister.
When making a report, the investigator shall try, to the fullest practical extent, to involve the patient and to determine and accommodate the patient's wishes.
DIRECTIONS TO A HEALTH FACILITY
On receiving an investigator's report under section 7, the minister may give the operator of the health facility involved any directions the minister considers necessary to protect patients from abuse or neglect.
The minister shall give a copy of the directions to
(a) the patient about whom the investigation was conducted or, if the patient has a committee, the committee; and
(b) any other person the minister considers should be notified, having regard to the nature of the abuse or neglect reported and the need to protect the patient's privacy.
Within the time the minister specifies, the operator of the health facility shall comply with the minister's directions and give the minister a written report describing what action has been taken or will be taken to comply.
REPORT TO EMPLOYER
If, after an investigation the minister believes that
(a) a patient has been abused or neglected; and
(b) the employment duties of the person who abused or neglected the patient
(i) involve the care of a patient or another specified adult, or the provision of other services to such a person, or
(ii) permit unsupervised access to patients;
the minister must report to the person's employer, manager or supervisor at the place of employment the name of the person who abused or neglected the patient and the circumstances of the abuse or neglect that are required by the regulations to be reported.
The minister may provide the person's employer, manager or supervisor with further information relating to the abuse or neglect, including personal information and personal health information, if the minister
(a) receives a request for the information from the person's employer, manager or supervisor; and
(b) believes that providing the information is necessary to protect patients and other specified adults from abuse or neglect.
If a health facility or a regional health authority as defined in The Regional Health Authorities Act has granted privileges to a person, the health facility or the regional health authority is his or her employer for the purpose of this section.
REPORT TO ADULT ABUSE REGISTRY COMMITTEE
In addition to taking any other action under this Act, if, after an investigation the minister believes that
(a) a person
(i) has abused a patient,
(ii) has neglected a patient, or
(iii) has abused and neglected a patient;
(b) the person meets any criteria which may be set out in the regulations; and
(c) no extenuating circumstances as set out in the regulations exist;
the minister must provide a report about the matters in clauses (a) to (c) to the adult abuse registry committee in accordance with the regulations.
If the minister receives a request for further information about his or her report from the adult abuse registry committee,
(a) the minister may investigate the matter and provide the committee with any further information that relates to the report; and
(b) section 6 applies, with necessary changes.
REFERRAL TO A PROFESSIONAL BODY
If the minister believes on reasonable grounds that a person has abused or neglected a patient or has failed to comply with the duty to report under section 3, the minister may refer the matter to the body or person that governs the person's professional status or that certifies, licenses, or otherwise authorizes or permits the person to carry on his or her work, profession or occupation.
A body or person that receives a report under subsection (1) shall
(a) investigate the matter to determine whether a professional status review or disciplinary proceedings should be commenced against the person; and
(b) on conclusion of the investigation and any review or proceedings, advise the minister of the determination under clause (a), the reasons for the determination, and, if applicable, the results of any professional status review or disciplinary proceedings.
If a referral is made under this section to a body or person that the minister considers can deal appropriately with the matter, the minister may decide not to refer the matter to an investigator under section 5, or may defer doing so.
PROTECTION FOR PERSONS WHO REPORT
No action or other proceeding may be brought against a person for making a report of abuse or neglect under this Act in good faith.
No operator of a health facility shall take adverse employment action against a service provider of the facility because that person made a report of abuse or neglect in good faith under this Act.
No operator of a health facility or other person shall alter, interrupt or discontinue, or threaten to alter, interrupt or discontinue, service to a patient or to a person who has made a report of abuse or neglect under this Act, or to a relative of either of them who receives services from the facility, because a report of abuse or neglect has been made under this Act in good faith.
A person acting under the authority of this Act or engaged in its administration
(a) is not required to disclose or produce any information that could reasonably be expected to reveal the identity of
(i) a person who reported abuse or neglect, or
(ii) a person who was interviewed, or who provided information in confidence, in the course of an inquiry or investigation under this Act; and
(b) cannot be compelled to disclose or produce such information for the purpose of any civil legal proceeding.
Subsection (1) does not prevent the disclosure of information
(a) to a person engaged in the administration or enforcement of this Act for the purpose of administering or enforcing it; or
(b) to a court, upon application by a person seeking the disclosure of the information, for the purpose of determining whether the information could reasonably be expected to reveal the identity of a person whose identity is protected by subsection (1).
If information is disclosed to a court under clause (2)(b), the court must take every reasonable precaution, including receiving representations ex parte, conducting hearings in private and examining records in private, to avoid the disclosure of any information that could reasonably be expected to reveal the identity of a person whose identity is protected by subsection (1).
A person who contravenes this Act is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction,
(a) in the case of an individual, to a fine of not more than $2,000.; and
(b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $30,000.
A person who makes a report of abuse or neglect under this Act, knowing it to be false, is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $2,000.
A prosecution under this Act may be commenced not later than two years after the alleged offence is committed.
The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) designating institutions or organizations as health facilities for the purposes of this Act;
(b) specifying services for the purpose of clause (d) of the definition "patient" in section 1;
(c) for the purpose of clause 1(2)(b), setting out circumstances in which an act or omission is not abuse or neglect;
(d) for the purpose of subsection 8.1(1), setting out the circumstances of abuse and neglect to be included in the report;
(e) for the purpose of section 8.2, setting out criteria and extenuating circumstances and the information to be included in the report;
(f) defining any word or phrase used but not defined in this Act;
(g) respecting any matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the purposes of this Act.
A regulation made under subsection (1) may be general or specific in its application.
The minister may delegate to any person any power conferred or duty imposed on the minister by this Act.
No action for damages or other proceeding may be brought against the minister, an investigator or any other person acting under the authority of this Act or engaged in administering it,
(a) for anything done in good faith in performing or intending to perform a duty or in exercising or intending to exercise a power, under this Act; or
(b) for any neglect or default in performing a duty or exercising a power in good faith under this Act.
This Act binds the Crown.
This Act may be referred to as chapter P144 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.
This Act comes into force on a day fixed by proclamation.
NOTE: S.M. 2000, c. 12 came into force by proclamation on May 1, 2001.
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