For Health Professionals & Health Services Appeal and Review Boards

Beginning on May 1, 2013, all proceedings before either the Health Professionals Appeal and Review Board (HPARB) or the Health Services Appeal and Review Board (HSARB) will be governed by new Consolidated Rules of Practice and Procedure (the Rules). These new rules combine and modify the previously separate rules of each board.

Though the majority of the Consolidated Rules directly reflect their predecessors, there are some key additions and changes. As well, some rules previously applicable only to one of the two boards are now applicable to both. All changes, however, must be taken in the context of the Board’s general power to modify and adjust its rules as it finds necessary (new rule 2.4).

The Consolidated Rules will apply both to new applications filed after May 1, 2013 as well as matters previously commenced that are proceeding before the Board after May 1, 2013.

What are the Key Changes?

  1. Human Rights Consideration (Rule 2.9) – Parties, representatives and witnesses are now entitled to accommodation under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. To that end, the Boards are required to interpret all rules in light of the Human Rights Code and make any orders necessary to ensure accommodation.
  2. Mediation (Rule 8) – The Boards now have the power to recommend mediation in order to simplify, narrow or resolve issues, or reach a settlement. Mediations are to be conducted by a Board selected mediator. Any consent order arising from the mediation is subject to Board approval. This rule is not applicable to reviews and registration reviews before HPARB under the Regulated Health Professions Act, or reviews before HSARB under the Commitment to the Future of Medicare Act.
  3. Privacy Protection & Freedom of Information Considerations (Rule 13.3) – When considering public access to documents or records that are part of a proceeding, the Boards must now consider the public’s dual rights to information and privacy under Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (in addition to any other applicable legislation or law).
  4. Dismissal for Abandonment (Rule 11) – Where a party fails to diligently pursue an application, or cannot be contacted by the Board, the Board may deem the proceeding abandoned following 30 days’ notice. This rule does not apply to complaint reviews before HPARB under the Regulated Health Professions Act.
  5. Increased Cost Awards (Rule 15.8.7) – Successful parties seeking costs following a hearing are now entitled to a greater sum. A new table sets out larger amounts for both legal fees and disbursements, making recovery of a greater portion of costs possible. The cost provisions apply to all HSARB proceedings, excluding reviews under the Commitment to the Future of Medicare Act, but only to HPARB hearings under the Public Hospitals Act or registration hearings under the Regulated Health Professions Act. Successful parties seeking costs following a hearing are now entitled to a greater sum of both fees and disbursements. Fees that may be awarded now range from $100/hr (for Paralegals or Articling Students) to $290/hr (for Senior Counsel), making recovery of a greater portion of costs possible. The cost provisions apply to all HSARB proceedings, excluding reviews under the Commitment to the Future of Medicare Act, but only to HPARB hearings under the Public Hospitals Act or registration hearings under the Regulated Health Professions Act.
  6. No Automatic Stay of Appealed Decisions – Under old HSARB rule 22.02, a decision appealed to the Divisional Court was automatically stayed pending that Court’s ruling. This rule has been removed, suggesting stays on appeal are no longer automatic.
  7. Email Filing – Documents that are to be filed with a Board may now be filed through email (Rule 3.2).

Overall, the new Rules will provide greater consistency between HPARB and HSARB without significantly altering longstanding procedure. They reflect a more outward looking viewpoint, with their considerations of other key Ontario legislation, and provide more practical directions for those before either board.

The new Rules can be found online at: http://www.hsarb.on.ca/ and http://www.hparb.on.ca/. Should you have any questions about these new Rules, please contact:

Wendy Whelan
Toronto
416.367.6493
wwhelan@blg.com

Author

Wendy Whelan 
WWhelan@blg.com
416.367.6493

Expertise

Healthcare Human Resources and Labour Relations
Health Advocacy