The Patients First Act, 2016 (also known as “Bill 41”) was passed on December 7, 2016 and received Royal Assent the following day. A recent Health Communiqué, Patients First Act, 2016 Becomes Law in Ontario provides a summary of some of the amendments brought about by this Act.

Under the Patients First Act, Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) will assume responsibility for the provision of home care services, community care services, and primary care planning currently provided by Community Care Access Centres (CCACs).

The Patients First Act also provides for CCACs’ functions, employees, assets and liabilities to be transferred to their respective LHINs. Upon transfer, all services provided, co-ordinated or contracted by a CCAC will become the responsibility of the LHIN.

On January 30, 2017 the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) posted proposed amendments to the General Regulation (O. Reg. 329/04) under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA). The proposed regulatory amendment would:

  • prescribe each LHIN as a health information custodian (HIC) under PHIPA for the purpose of providing or assisting in providing health care to an individual;
  • make the LHIN the HIC for those records transferred to the LHIN from a CCAC in its capacity as a HIC; and
  • allow a LHIN to assume implied consent to collect, use or disclose personal health information for providing or assisting in providing health care to individuals, unless it is aware that consent has been withheld or withdrawn for this purpose.

The MOHLTC is currently seeking public comment on the proposed regulations. The deadline to provide feedback is March 30, 2017.

Complete versions of the proposed amendments and information on how to provide feedback can be found on Ontario’s Regulatory Registry. You may also inquire with us if you have any questions.

Miller Thomson’s National Health Industry Group will continue to monitor the status of the proposed regulation and other developments associated with the Patients First Act.