I’m Kate Dewhirst.

My team and I write about legal issues affecting healthcare in Canada.

Kate Dewhirst Health Law - bringing the law to life. Meet Kate (in 13 seconds)

International Women’s Day 2022 — Recognizing the women of Kate Dewhirst Health Law

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International Women’s Day is a global effort to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It is celebrated annually on March 8. This year’s theme (#BreakTheBias) is focussed on eliminating stereotypes and discrimination to achieve gender equality and encourage a world that is diverse, inclusive, and where differences are valued and celebrated…. Read more »


Check-ins: The Importance of Performance Reviews to the Hospital Credentialing Process

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Physicians (as well as dentists, midwives and some NPs) working at hospitals in Ontario must undergo an annual credentialing process to receive privileges.  The initial application process to consider a new physician brings with it the highest levels of scrutiny. Subsequent renewals of physician privileges are perceived as more of a formality and sometimes even… Read more »



Data Privacy Week 2022

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Data Privacy Week is an international effort that takes place annually to create awareness about the importance of safeguarding data and enabling trust in an effort to protect individuals’ privacy. This year, Data Privacy Week takes place from January 24 to 28, 2022. The National Cybersecurity Alliance is focusing on encouraging individuals to own their… Read more »


Updates to the Professional Staff Credentialing Toolkit

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In September 2021, the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) release the second edition of its Professional Staff Credentialing Toolkit. There were 8 main updates: Changes to the Public Hospitals Act (“PHA”) The toolkit reflects the requirements of section 33 (mandatory reporting of physicians to the CPSO – see pages 43, 84, 95) and section 44 (ceasing… Read more »


Summary of Updates to the OMA/OHA Hospital Prototype for Board-Appointed Professional Staff By-Laws

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In September 2021, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and Ontario Hospitals Association (OHA) released an updated version of their Prototype Board-Appointed Professional Staff Bylaws. Among the revisions are changes to the bylaw’s language and tone, updates regarding the requirements of medical leadership and updated obligations for professional staff with respect to disclosure and notice obligations…. Read more »


When you set the bar higher than the law requires – make sure you can meet your own standards! PHIPA Decision 168

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New decision of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario for health privacy. And it is a doozy! As background, it is important to know that our health privacy law, the Personal Health Information Protection Act, allows hospitals and other health information custodians to use identifiable health information without needing the consent of patients for… Read more »


Protecting Children is Paramount: Rights of Access under the Child, Youth and Family Services Act

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The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario has released its first decision related to services provided under Ontario’s Child, Youth and Family Services Act (the “Act”). The decision relates to a request for access to records under Part X of the Act. Background: The Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (CAST) had two reports in its… Read more »



Feuding Parents and Privacy Requests: what to do when joint custodial parents disagree

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In Decision 160, the IPC reviewed a complaint from the father of two children (both under the age of eight) whose records request was partially denied by the hospital where the children received care. The records contained concerns about the father’s relationship with the children. The mother did not consent to the records being disclosed… Read more »


Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

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
October 24, 31, November 7, 14, 21, 28 2022 Coming Soon: Spring 2023 Next Program

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 2022

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 May program will address progressive discipline and in September we discuss mandatory training for new employees and October we discuss ethical decision making in primary care.
Full details of the 2022 webinar series and registration here.

Team Privacy Training Events
August 3, September 7, 23

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...

Ontario Hospital Association Professional Staff Credentialing Toolkit

2nd Edition is now available for managing physicians, dentists, midwives and nurse practitioners in hospitals Read 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

Kate says:

My mission is bringing the law to life. I make legal theory understandable, accessible and fun! I’m available and love to work for all organizations in the healthcare sector across Ontario and beyond.

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contact details

P.O. Box 97010 Roncesvalles
Toronto Ontario M6R 3B3

(416) 855 9557

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