On November 17th, the OBA Health Law Section presented a CPD event called “Health Law & Privacy of Patients – What you Need to know in these Unprecedented Times.”
The virtual event was co-chaired by Tamara Adler and Teddy Weinstein. The program addressed how the arrival of COVID-19 in the province of Ontario has affected access to health information, patient privacy in the new virtual age and the application of PHIPA to consumer electronic service providers.
The panel consisted of Patrick Wright of Lenczner Slaght LLP, Khalid Janmohamed of the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic of Ontario (“HALCO”), and Dina Awad of Dentons LLP. Each expert brought their own unique perspective to the new authorities on access to health information, and reviewed how the past year has changed the landscape of health and privacy law.
Patrick reviewed the new authorities on contact tracing, the collection and disclosure of personal health information, reporting, liability, and changes to the missing persons act. He reviewed the basics of contact tracing and took a closer look at the COVID alert app. He reviewed the responsibilities of Health Information Custodians in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly where the patient is suspected of having COVID, and advised attendees on how to safeguard both patient privacy and fulfill their mandatory reporting obligations under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Lastly, he reviewed what liability might follow from a breach of privacy and the recent changes to the missing persons act.