I’m Kate Dewhirst.

I’m a lawyer who writes about legal issues affecting healthcare in Canada

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Ontario considers new private sector privacy legislation – what does that mean for healthcare?

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You may have heard that the Ontario government is consulting on new privacy legislation for the private sector.

Here’s the announcement.

And here’s the link to the survey where you can share your views. Deadline for feedback is October 1, 2020.

The purpose is to give Ontarians more confidence when dealing in the digital world. Especially in a COVID or post-COVID environment when we are all becoming even more reliant on a digital economy.

So, what does this have to do with healthcare?

For most of my healthcare clients, this is not going to change anything for you.  Public sector healthcare organizations are subject to the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 and some of you are also subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.  I doubt this will apply to you.

This new legislation is intended to fill in some gaps that currently exist in the private sector. Currently, the federal privacy legislation, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, applies to commercial activities anywhere in Ontario unless substantially similar legislation applies in a province or territory.  I’m guessing this will bring an Ontario focus to private sector interactions that may expand beyond commercial activities.  We’ll see.

Anyone operating in the for-profit health space including health apps and direct to consumer for-profit health services will want to participate in the consultation as this legislation will likely impact your business.


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Free healthcare privacy webinar - ask me anything!
the first Wednesday of every month

Free webinars - advance registration needed

Whether you're an experienced privacy officer or new in the field, pick Kate’s brain for free for an hour, in this live webinar. No charge, but you’ll need to register in advance.

Health Privacy Officer Foundations training
September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26 2021

For Privacy Officers within healthcare organizations.

This course focuses on how to become a more confident privacy officer and gives you the tools to document your privacy program. Full details and registration here...

Join the Shush: a collective of health privacy officers
Annual membership 2021

For Privacy Officers within healthcare organizations

This is an annual membership program that takes theory into practice and tackles real life scenarios to build Privacy Officer skills.
Full details and registration here.

Primary care webinars: Employment Law Update & Legal Issues for EDs and Board members

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Our September program will address toxic employees and in October we discuss collaboration agreements.
Full details of the 2021 webinar series and registration here.

Team Privacy Training Events
June 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 30

For Primary Care clinics, Hospitals, Community Agencies, Mental Health Teams, Public Health Units, School Boards, Police departments

Kate trains health professionals from many more health care organizations how being privacy-respectful can improve therapeutic relationships. More details...

Part X CYFSA Privacy Designate Course - video course online

For Privacy Designates in the child welfare sector including children's aid societies and indigenous children's well-being centres

We focus on how to implement Part X of the Child Youth and Family Services Act in your organization.
Full details and registration here.

Free summary of all PHIPA IPC decisions

Want to read privacy breach stories to learn how to improve your work? We have summarized all the Information and Privacy Commissioner's health privacy decisions for you Download here...

Kate Dewhirst Health Law

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