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Goudge Report on Complaints and Discipline


Back in May we reported on a number of issues relating to complaints and disciplinary procedures at the CPSO

The Ontario government commissioned an inquiry into various complaints relating to the College of Physician and Surgeons of Ontario. Enter the Goudge Report, drafted by former Justice of the Superior Court, Stephen Goudge.

The upshot, the CPSO is taking too long (and it is too expensive) to resolve its thousands of discipline cases. On average the CPSO takes 200 days to dispose of cases at the early stage. Those more serious cases that may require fuller investigation or proceed on to other stages will undoubtedly take much, much longer.

The Goudge Report makes a number of recommendations including:

  • There should be a CPSO staff person to review complaints early in the process to approve the  withdrawal of a complaint where the complainant agrees (after having discussions with the staff member about whether the complaint fits within the CPSO jurisdiction), or dismiss the complaint if there is no reasonable prospect of the action being taken on the complaint.
  • A CPSO staff member should be designated as patient advocate to help explain the process.
  • Alternate dispute resolution (ADR) should include the CPSO as a party, who should be empowered to make binding decisions even if the complainant does not agree.
  • Chart reviews should be limited in number.
  • In the case of Registrar's investigations, they must be limited and not open-ended.
  • Early referrals to discipline should be permitted.
  • the default position on review of complaints decisions should be in writing rather than oral.

The Goudge Report also recommended a number of changes to the Rules of Procedure for discipline hearings and to the discipline process.

Some of the changes have been implemented, others have not. 

The full report can be found here.