The Ontario Council of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine ( the Council) conducts formal hearings to investigate serious allegations of unprofessional conduct.
Formal hearings are open to the community and the media and notices about forthcoming hearings are published on the website.
Proceedings in such hearings are formal and both the Council and the Chinese medicine practitioners are permitted to have legal representation. Witnesses maybe cross-examined. Formal hearing panels must determine if a Chinese medicine practitioner has:
* Engaged in unprofessional conduct of a serious nature
* Engaged in unprofessional conduct, not of a serious nature
* Not engaged in unprofessional conduct
If the panel finds that the Chinese medicine practitioner has engaged in unprofessional conduct, the panel can impose the following sanctions:
* Further education
* Imposition of conditions, limitations or restrictions on registration
* Imposition of a fine or not more than $10,000
* Suspension of registration for a period
* Cancellation of registration
* Refusing registration or renewal of registration
Appeals against decisions made by formal hearing panels can be taken to the superintendent of committees.
The Ontario Council of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (the Council) conducts formal hearings to investigate serious allegations of unprofessional conduct.
Proceedings in such hearings are formal and both the Council and the Chinese medicine practitioners are permitted to be legally represented. Witnesses may be cross-examined.
The Ontario Council of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can investigate the professional conduct or fitness t practice of registered Chinese Medicine practitioners, impose sanctions as necessary and issue guidelines in relation to the standards of Chinese medicine practice. The Council will respond to complaints occurring during the period of registration only. The Council does not act for a complainant in respect of compensation, request of an apology or otherwise. The Council will consider and determine complaints in accordance with the Code of Ethics and administrative fairness.
The Council cannot deal with complaints concerning practitioner’s fees and charges unless the conduct involves fraud or dishonesty or is so grossly excessive as to constitute unprofessional con ducts.
Although it is recognized that under privacy legislation individuals have a right to interact with the Council anonymously, the Council highly recommends that complaints be put in writing. It is difficult to deal with anonymous complaints or complaints where the person making the report is not prepared to lodge a formal complaint. The written complaint clarifies issues and is an important piece of evidence required for effective investigation. A record of all telephone calls is noted.
All reasonable effort is made to ensure that the process is as straight-forward as possible. Complaints are referred directly to the Registrar. A written and signed complaint will be requested. This may be a letter or a statement. Te Registrar will request that you also complete a “Complaint Notice”.
The Registrar will usually write to the complainant to confirm receiving the complaint and, if necessary, clarify details.
As a matter of process the practitioner against whom a complaint is being made is usually provided with a copy of the complaint and asked to respond.
Once a person has lodged a complaint with the Council, they shall become a witness for the Council should the matter proceed to a hearing.
The whole of this process is likely to take a minimum of 3 months. The complaint review, investigation,and hearing may take an extended period of time depending on the level of evidence required and the complexity of the case.
After an investigation the Council may decide one of the following:
* That the matter will not precede any further.
* That an informal hearing will be held.
* That a formal hearing will be held.
The complainant is informed of the outcome. If a hearing is to be conducted the complainant may be requested to attend and provide evidence.
The Council meets its own costs of investigations and hearings. Practitioners must meet their own costs.
Names and addresses of Patient Relations Chair
Mr. Kayvan Naghavi
Ontario Council of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
11160 Yonge Street, unit 7
Richmond Hill, Ontario