I’m Kate Dewhirst.

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

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

What health care organizations need to know about recent changes to Ontario’s health privacy law

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If you’ve been focused on COVID-19 response and transitioning to virtual care over the last few months, you may have missed that there have been some big changes to Ontario’s health privacy law, the Personal Health Information Protection Act. What did you miss?? Here’s a recap of Bill 188, Bill 138, and two sets of… Read more »


5 New PHIPA IPC decisions … time to catch up

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There have been some interesting health privacy decisions out of the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s Office in the last few months. Here’s a recap: Decisions 119 and 121 – May and June 2020 Key Take Away Message: When there is a dispute over whether a health care organization has completed a “reasonable search”, the organization… Read more »



The crisis phase is over – the emergency continues – how should health leaders move forward?

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I have noticed over the last month that the tone of conversations has changed and social critique has resurfaced. Individuals are rightly asking more questions. There is greater need in all aspects of life and public service for clarity and certainty.  There are more queries and complaints about the impact of decisions made in the… Read more »


Disclosure of COVID-19 Status Information by Labs and Medical Officers of Health to Police, Firefighters, and Paramedics

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The Ontario government has passed an emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act allowing the disclosure of COVID-19 status information by laboratories and medical officers of health to specified people including police officers, firefighters, and paramedics. The government’s press release states that the purpose of the Order is to protect first responders,… Read more »






COVID-19: Employment Law Tips for Ontario’s Primary Care Health Sector (GUEST BLOG)

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This blog post is written by Maria McDonald of McDonald HR Law COVID-19 and the Primary Care Workplace Public Health Ontario Guidelines Primary healthcare employers have been receiving daily updates from Public Health Ontario regarding COVID-19 practice guidelines.These guidelines are intended to protect the safety of patients and employees. It is vitally important that primary… 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
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

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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