That’s right! If you’re a dentist, you no longer have to treat your spouse on weekends and evenings (when the office is closed and the shades are pulled down) or travel to Manitoba (this assumes you can practice there) to avoid losing your license for 5 years! You don’t have to fear reprisal from disgruntled staff who have known about your dirty little secret! Because it’s not so dirty after all – to treat your own spouse. To allow spouses to be able to choose their own dentist puts them at par with everyone else in Ontario!
As of July 10, 2014, after years of complaining and lobbying against this law, the relatively new Ontario Government accepted regulations to exempt dentists from the harsh application of this law.
Looking back in time…
February 2013: A private member’s bill and a strong lobbying effort by the RCDSO and the ODA to amend this law gave us hope.
October 2013: The proposed amendment to the Regulated Health Professions Act passed 3rd reading (becoming more of a reality). All that was left was for regulations to be passed by the RCDSO and approved by the Government.
March 5, 2014: the RCDSO passed regulations for dentists to be exempt. Now, the Ontario Government just had to approve them. But we had an election call!
July 2014: the RCDSO published the following statement on their website (indicating that the law has changed and dentists can now treat their spouses):
Now Legal for Ontario Dentists to Treat Spouses
July 10, 2014
As President of the College, I am delighted to announce that we have just received confirmation from government officials that the regulation passed by Council to allow for treatment of spouses by Ontario dentists is formally approved. This means that any College member can now legally provide dental treatment to his/her spouse.
The College is extremely grateful to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dr. Eric Hoskins, and the government of Premier Kathleen Wynne for their tremendous support.
From the very beginning, Council has shown leadership on this important issue. Our robust advocacy has helped win the day. There is no question that this positive outcome is also due to the tireless efforts of many individual dentists and of the broader dental community, including our colleagues at the Ontario Dental Association.
The College has been unwavering in its focus to move this matter forward, from its appearances before the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC) to its personal meetings with the previous Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and with the chair of HPRAC. Once Bill 70 – the bill that would amend the Regulated Health Professions Act – was passed in early November 2013 by the Ontario Legislature, Council did everything in its power to expedite the rest of the legislative process.
Council held a special meeting on January 24, 2014, to pass the regulation needed to enact the legislation. Then the College spent countless hours in working with government to move the regulation along as quickly as possible through the Ministry of Health. On March 5, College representatives – I and Registrar Irwin Fefergrad – signed the official copy of the regulation and had it hand-delivered the same day to Ministry officials.
Now the final step in this arduous voyage is complete.
Dr. Peter Trainor
HAPPY TIMES!!! 😉