P-31.1 - Act respecting the Health and Social Services Ombudsman

Full text
chapter P-31.1
Act respecting the Health and Social Services Ombudsman
HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES OMBUDSMANDecember 11 2001January 1 2002
CHAPTER I
ESTABLISHMENT
1. The Government shall appoint a Health and Social Services Ombudsman.
The abbreviated title “Health Services Ombudsman” may be used to designate the Health and Social Services Ombudsman.
2001, c. 43, s. 1.
2. The Health Services Ombudsman shall be appointed for a maximum term of five years and, on expiry of this term, shall remain in office until reappointed or replaced. The salary or fees and the other conditions of appointment of the Health Services Ombudsman shall be determined by the Government.
2001, c. 43, s. 2.
3. If absent or temporarily unable to act, the Health Services Ombudsman may be replaced by a person appointed by the Government to exercise the Ombudsman’s functions and powers for the duration of the absence or inability to act. The Government shall determine the person’s salary or fees and other conditions of appointment.
2001, c. 43, s. 3.
CHAPTER II
ORGANIZATION
4. The personnel needed by the Health Services Ombudsman shall be appointed in accordance with the Public Service Act (chapter F-3.1.1).
The Health Services Ombudsman shall define the duties of the personnel and direct their work. The exercise of any of the powers of the Health Services Ombudsman may be delegated in writing.
2001, c. 43, s. 4.
5. The Health Services Ombudsman may give a person who is not a member of the Ombudsman’s personnel a written mandate to examine a complaint and, where applicable, conduct an inquiry, or any other specific written mandate related to any of the Ombudsman’s functions. The Health Services Ombudsman may delegate the exercise of any of the Ombudsman’s powers to such a person.
The second paragraph of section 9, with the necessary modifications, applies to such a person conducting an inquiry.
2001, c. 43, s. 5.
6. Before beginning to exercise their functions, the Health Services Ombudsman, any mandatary of the Ombudsman and any personnel member to whom the exercise of powers of the Ombudsman are delegated shall take the oath provided in Schedule I.
The oath shall be received by the Minister in the case of the Health Services Ombudsman and by the Ombudsman in the other cases.
2001, c. 43, s. 6.
CHAPTER III
FUNCTIONS
DIVISION I
EXAMINATION OF COMPLAINTS
10. The Health Services Ombudsman shall establish a complaint examination procedure.
The procedure must in particular
(1)  include the necessary details allowing rapid access to the services of the Health Services Ombudsman;
(2)  provide that the Health Services Ombudsman must give the necessary assistance or see to it that the necessary assistance is given to users or persons who so require for the formulation of a complaint or for any further step related to the complaint, in particular by the community organization in the region to which a user assistance and support mandate has been given pursuant to section 76.6 of the Act respecting health services and social services (chapter S-4.2);
(3)  provide that complaints must be made in writing and filed together with the conclusions transmitted by the local commissioner or the regional commissioner, if any;
(4)  provide that the Health Services Ombudsman is to inform the institution or the regional board in writing of the receipt of a complaint in its regard or, if the Ombudsman is of the opinion that no prejudice will be caused to the user, send a copy of the complaint to the institution or regional board; provide that such information is also to be sent in writing to the highest authority of any other organization, resource or partnership or to any other person holding the position of highest authority, if the complaint pertains to services they are responsible for;
(5)  allow the complainant and the institution or regional board and, where applicable, the highest authority of the organization, resource or partnership or any other person holding the position of highest authority responsible for the services that are the subject of the complaint, to present observations; and
(6)  provide that the Health Services Ombudsman, after examining the complaint, is to communicate his or her conclusions, including reasons, without delay to the complainant together with any recommendations made to the institution or the regional board and, where applicable, to the highest authority of the organization, resource or partnership or to any other person holding the position of highest authority responsible for the services that are the subject of the complaint; provide that the Ombudsman is also to forward a copy of his or her conclusions, including reasons, to the institution or regional board and to any other authority concerned.
Where the examination of a complaint referred to the Health Services Ombudsman pursuant to subparagraph 1 or 3 of the first paragraph of section 8 raises a matter that comes under a responsibility of regional boards listed in section 340 of the Act respecting health services and social services, including access to services or the organization or financing of services, the regional board may also be allowed to present observations under the procedure, in which case the Health Services Ombudsman shall inform the regional service quality commissioner of the elements of the complaint the Ombudsman considers relevant to the objects of the regional board and identify the authority concerned. The Ombudsman shall allow the board to present observations in all cases where the Ombudsman intends to make a recommendation to the board following the examination of the complaint.
2001, c. 43, s. 10.
11. The Health Services Ombudsman may make a memorandum of agreement with any regional board for the purposes of
(1)  the application of the complaint examination procedure, within the scope of the functions of the board;
(2)  the communication of his or her conclusions, including reasons, subject to the protection of any nominative information they contain; or
(3)  any other activity of a regional board with a view to the improvement of the services provided to the population in the region, the satisfaction of the clientele and the enforcement of their rights.
2001, c. 43, s. 11.
CHAPTER VI
VARIOUS PROVISIONS
29. No person shall take reprisals or attempt to take reprisals in any manner whatever against any natural person who files or intends to file a complaint under section 8 or otherwise applies to the Health Services Ombudsman under this Act.
The Health Services Ombudsman must act immediately upon being apprised of reprisals or of an attempt to take reprisals.
2001, c. 43, s. 29.
30. No civil action may be instituted by reason or in consequence of a complaint made in good faith under this Act, whatever the conclusions of the Health Services Ombudsman, or by reason or in consequence of the publication, in good faith, of any advice or report of the Ombudsman under this Act or of an extract from or summary of any such advice or report.
Nothing in this Act shall operate to restrict the right of any person or the person’s successors to exercise a remedy based on the same facts as those on which a complaint is based.
2001, c. 43, s. 30.
31. No legal proceedings may be brought against the Health Services Ombudsman, a mandatary of the Ombudsman within the meaning of section 5 or a member of the Ombudsman’s personnel exercising the powers of the Ombudsman for an act or omission made in good faith in the exercise of their functions.
2001, c. 43, s. 31.
32. Except on a question of jurisdiction, no extraordinary recourse under articles 834 to 846 of the Code of Civil Procedure (chapter C-25) may be exercised and no injunction may be granted against any of the persons referred to in section 31 acting in their official capacity.
2001, c. 43, s. 32.
33. A judge of the Court of Appeal may, on a motion, summarily annul any writ, order or injunction issued or granted contrary to section 31 or 32.
2001, c. 43, s. 33.
34. The answers given or statements made by a person during the examination of a complaint, including any information or document supplied in good faith by the person in response to a request of the Health Services Ombudsman, a mandatary of the Ombudsman within the meaning of section 5 or a member of the Ombudsman’s personnel exercising the powers of the Ombudsman, may not be used or be admitted as evidence against the person in a judicial proceeding or a proceeding before a person or body exercising adjudicative functions.
2001, c. 43, s. 34.
35. Notwithstanding any inconsistent legal provision, the Health Services Ombudsman, a mandatary of the Ombudsman within the meaning of section 5 or a member of the Ombudsman’s personnel exercising the powers of the Ombudsman may not be compelled to make a deposition in a judicial proceeding or a proceeding before a person or body exercising adjudicative functions concerning any confidential information obtained in the exercise of their functions, or to produce a document containing such information, except to confirm its confidential nature.
2001, c. 43, s. 35.
36. Nothing contained in a user’s complaint record, including the conclusions with reasons and any related recommendations, may be construed as a declaration, recognition or extrajudicial admission of professional, administrative or other misconduct capable of establishing the civil liability of a party in a judicial proceeding.
2001, c. 43, s. 36.
37. The provisions of sections 17 to 28 of the Act respecting health services and social services (chapter S-4.2) apply to all user’s complaint records kept by the Health Services Ombudsman for the purposes of the functions of the Ombudsman under this Act.
2001, c. 43, s. 37.
CHAPTER VIII
FINAL PROVISION
40. The Minister of Health and Social Services is responsible for the administration of this Act.
2001, c. 43, s. 40.
AMENDING PROVISIONS
41. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, Chapters III and IV of Title II of Part I, ss. 29 to 76).
2001, c. 43, s. 41.
42. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 108).
2001, c. 43, s. 42.
43. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 133.0.1).
2001, c. 43, s. 43.
44. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 173).
2001, c. 43, s. 44.
45. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 177).
2001, c. 43, s. 45.
46. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 182).
2001, c. 43, s. 46.
47. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 212).
2001, c. 43, s. 47.
48. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 214).
2001, c. 43, s. 48.
49. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 218).
2001, c. 43, s. 49.
50. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 249).
2001, c. 43, s. 50.
51. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 250).
2001, c. 43, s. 51.
52. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 344).
2001, c. 43, s. 52.
53. (Omitted).
2001, c. 43, s. 53.
54. (Inoperative, 2001, c. 24, s. 75).
2001, c. 43, s. 54.
55. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 506).
2001, c. 43, s. 55.
56. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 530.5).
2001, c. 43, s. 56.
57. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 530.7).
2001, c. 43, s. 57.
58. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 530.8).
2001, c. 43, s. 58.
59. (Amendment integrated into heading of Division III of Chapter II of Title I of Part IV.1).
2001, c. 43, s. 59.
60. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 530.9).
2001, c. 43, s. 60.
61. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 530.10).
2001, c. 43, s. 61.
62. (Omitted).
2001, c. 43, s. 62.
63. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 530.48).
2001, c. 43, s. 63.
64. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 530.49).
2001, c. 43, s. 64.
65. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 530.91).
2001, c. 43, s. 65.
66. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 530.92).
2001, c. 43, s. 66.
67. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, s. 530.93).
2001, c. 43, s. 67.
68. (Amendment integrated into c. S-4.2, Schedule I).
2001, c. 43, s. 68.
69. (Omitted).
2001, c. 43, s. 69.
TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS
70. The complaints commissioner in office on 1 January 2002 shall remain in office as the Health and Social Services Ombudsman until the expiry of his or her term of office.
2001, c. 43, s. 70.
71. The personnel of the complaints commissioner referred to in section 65 of the Act respecting health services and social services (chapter S-4.2) shall become the personnel of the Health and Social Services Ombudsman, and delegations made under section 65 shall be deemed to be delegations made under section 4 of this Act.
2001, c. 43, s. 71.
72. The complaint examination procedure established by the complaints commissioner pursuant to the provisions of section 57 of the Act respecting health services and social services (chapter S-4.2) shall continue to apply to the Health Services Ombudsman until 1 April 2002 or any later date determined by the Government; the new complaint examination procedure established by the Health Services Ombudsman under the provisions of section 10 of this Act shall apply from that date.
2001, c. 43, s. 72.
73. The examination of any complaint filed with the complaints commissioner before 1 January 2002 shall be continued by the Health Services Ombudsman in accordance with this Act.
2001, c. 43, s. 73.
74. The records and other documents held by the complaints commissioner on 1 January 2002 shall be transferred to the Health Services Ombudsman without further formality.
2001, c. 43, s. 74.
75. The complaints officer responsible for the application of the complaint examination procedure designated by the executive director of an institution under section 29 of the Act respecting health services and social services (chapter S-4.2) shall be deemed to be the local service quality commissioner of the institution until the board of directors makes the appointment provided for in section 30 of the Act respecting health services and social services enacted by section 41 of this Act on or before 1 April 2002 or any later date determined by the Government.
2001, c. 43, s. 75.
76. The complaint examination procedure established by an institution pursuant to the provisions of section 29 of the Act respecting health services and social services (chapter S-4.2) shall continue to apply to the institution until 1 April 2002 or any later date determined by the Government; the new complaint examination procedure established by by-law of the board of directors under the provisions of section 29 of the Act respecting health services and social services enacted by section 41 of this Act, shall apply from that date.
2001, c. 43, s. 76.
77. The provisions of sections 29 to 40 of the Act respecting health services and social services (chapter S-4.2) enacted by section 41 of this Act shall apply to the continuation of the examination of a complaint received by the institution before 1 April 2002 or any later date determined by the Government.
2001, c. 43, s. 77.
78. On or before 1 April 2002 or any later date determined by the Government, the board of directors of every institution must designate a medical examiner as provided for in section 42 of the Act respecting health services and social services (chapter S-4.2) enacted by section 41 of this Act.
2001, c. 43, s. 78.
79. Complaints concerning a physician, dentist or pharmacist received from 1 April 2002 or any later date determined by the Government shall be examined in accordance with the provisions of sections 41 to 59 of the Act respecting health services and social services (chapter S-4.2) enacted by section 41 of this Act.
2001, c. 43, s. 79.
80. The institutions referred to in section 51 of the Act respecting health services and social services (chapter S-4.2) enacted by section 41 of this Act shall have until 1 April 2002 or any later date determined by the Government to establish a review committee as provided for in that section.
2001, c. 43, s. 80.
81. The complaint examination procedure established by a regional board pursuant to the provisions of section 43 of the Act respecting health services and social services (chapter S-4.2) shall continue to apply to the regional board until 1 April 2002 or any later date determined by the Government; the new complaint examination procedure established by by-law of the board of directors under the provisions of section 62 of the Act respecting health services and social services enacted by section 41 of this Act shall apply from that date.
2001, c. 43, s. 81.
82. The complaints officer responsible for the application of the complaint examination procedure designated by the executive director of a regional board pursuant to the provisions of section 43 of the Act respecting health services and social services (chapter S-4.2) shall be deemed to be the regional service quality commissioner of the regional board until the board of directors makes the appointment provided for in section 63 of the Act respecting health services and social services enacted by section 41 of this Act on or before 1 April 2002 or any later date determined by the Government.
2001, c. 43, s. 82.
83. The examination of any complaint received by a regional board before 1 April 2002 or any later date determined by the Government shall be continued by the regional board pursuant to the provisions of sections 42 to 53.1 of the Act respecting health services and social services (chapter S-4.2) as they read before that date, in accordance with the complaint examination procedure and time limits applicable at that time.
Any complaint received by a regional board on or after 1 April 2002 or any later date determined by the Government which, under the provisions of the Act respecting health services and social services enacted by section 41 of this Act, is within the purview of the Health Services Ombudsman shall be referred without delay to the Health Services Ombudsman in accordance with this Act.
2001, c. 43, s. 83.
84. Corporation d’urgences-santé de la région de Montréal Métropolitain shall have until 1 April 2002 or any later date determined by the Government to appoint a member of its personnel to exercise the functions of regional service quality commissioner and to make a by-law establishing a complaint examination procedure in accordance with the provisions of section 61 of the Act respecting health services and social services (chapter S-4.2) enacted by section 41 of this Act.
Until that date, the applicable procedure shall continue to produce its effects.
2001, c. 43, s. 84.
85. The employees of a regional health and social services board within the meaning of the Act respecting health services and social services (chapter S-4.2) who are in office on 1 November 2001 and are assigned duties relating to the complaint handling process or the promotion of users’ rights, shall become members of the personnel of the Health Services Ombudsman insofar as they are covered by a decision of the Conseil du trésor made before 1 January 2003, in conformity with the conditions and procedure determined in the decision. Employees so transferred are deemed to have been appointed in accordance with the Public Service Act (chapter F-3.1.1).
The Conseil du trésor may determine the classification, remuneration and any other condition of employment applicable to the employees referred to in the first paragraph.
2001, c. 43, s. 85.
86. The Government may, by a regulation made before 1 January 2004, adopt any other transitional provision to rectify any omission and ensure the carrying out of this Act.
A regulation under this section is not subject to the publication requirement provided for in section 8 of the Regulations Act (chapter R-18.1). Notwithstanding section 17 of that Act, it comes into force on the date of its publication in the Gazette officielle du Québec or on any later date fixed therein.
2001, c. 43, s. 86.
87. (Omitted).
2001, c. 43, s. 87.
Oath
I declare under oath that I will fulfil the duties of my office with honesty, impartiality and justice. I further declare under oath that I will not reveal or disclose, unless authorized by law, any confidential information that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my functions.
2001, c. 43, schedule I.