I just read a shocking story in the Toronto Star. Three Toronto colonoscopy clinics have had have had hepatitis outbreaks since 2011. The Public Health Dept says eleven patients were infected and that the source of the infection was thought to be tainted sedative injections. The article alleges that Toronto Public Health and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), kept the outbreaks secret. Further, reported the Star, in 2012, nine patients contracted life-threatening infections, including meningitis, at a Toronto pain clinic. This was also thought to be through improper handling of multi-dose and single dose medication vials. Stoppers were not wiped down with 70% alcohol as required according to a confidential report. One of the clinic doctors is facing a disciplinary hearing and another is under investigation by the College. A class action lawsuit in under way.
The NDP Health critic questioned the competence of the CPSO to regulate such out- patient clinics and in addition criticized their lack of transparency, suggesting that early openness and action may have avoided subsequent cases.
The CPSO makes a great show of 'disciplining' individual physicians, sometimes quite inappropriately and to the point of harassment. Perhaps it should be paying more attention to some of the bodies over which it has jurisdiction and supervising that they meet the required standards.