College registrants have a legal and ethical obligation to promote and protect the best interests of their patients. The majority of College registrants are competent and skilled practitioners who work hard to uphold this obligation and maintain patient confidence by providing safe and effective pharmacy care.
However, there are times when a patient, co-worker, employer or other health care professional may have a concern about the pharmacy care delivered by a pharmacist or pharmacy technician. The College’s complaints resolution process is designed to deal with such circumstances and is grounded in the College mandate of protecting the public.
College staff must review all written complaints related to a registrant’s professional practice in a timely manner.
The vast majority of complaints can be effectively resolved through the Inquiry Committee process with only a few complaints escalating to the Discipline Committee for resolution. To ensure transparency and disclosure to the public, Inquiry and Discipline Committee results are posted on the College website.
As stipulated in legislation, the Inquiry Committee has specific timelines identified in the Health Professions Act to complete the review of a complaint and it can take a number of actions:
- Take no action (if the complaint is found to be trivial, frivolous or submitted in bad faith)
- Take any action it considers appropriate to resolve the matter between the complainant and the registrant
- Reprimand or take remedial action by consent
- Refer the matter to the Discipline Committee
- Take extraordinary action to protect the public
The Discipline Committee must hear and determine all matters brought before it, and it has a number of options available:
- Reprimand the registrant
- Fine the registrant
- Impose limits and/or conditions on their practice
- Suspend or cancel their registration
Health Professions Review Board
All professional Colleges under the Health Professions Act (HPA) fall under the jurisdiction of the Health Professions Review Board (HPRB) and all decisions made by the College regarding the registration of registrants or the timeliness and disposition of complaints can be brought before them for review.
The HPRB is an independent administrative tribunal created to help ensure the public of transparent, objective, impartial and fair administrative processes and decision-making by regulated health professions. HPRB members cannot be current registrants or Board members of any of the regulated health professions.
There is no cost to apply to the HPRB; however applications must be received, in writing, within 30 days of the complainant having received from the College the written notice of the decision, notice or disposition that is to be reviewed.