Health Legislations in Canada

Patient Rights In Canada:

When discussing patients’ rights in the context of the Canadian health care system, it is important to distinguish between “collective” rights and “individual” rights and entitlements.

  • Collective rightsare broad principles relating to the general societal obligation to make reasonable access to health care available for the entire population.  What is reasonable in terms of the number and range of provided services depends on political, social and economic factors.  Collective rights also relate to equal access to health care for all those living in a country or other geopolitical areas. 
  • Individual rights and entitlements, on the other hand, refer to the application of the health care system at the patient or consumer level; in other words, what individuals are entitled to and can expect at various stages of the health care system when they interact with health care providers and institutions.  These rights include rights to information, privacy, confidentiality, and consent to treatment. 

The Canada Health Act: https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/PDF/C-6.pdf

Patient’s Bill of Rights by Province

Alberta

Bill 201, Patients’ Bill of Rights – introduced in the Alberta Legislative Assembly on Jan 28, 1998 which,  however,  was defeated on Feb 4, 1998. https://docs.assembly.ab.ca/LADDAR_files/docs/bills/bill/legislature_24/session_2/19980127_bill-201.pdf

Alberta Heath Charter – https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-health-charter.aspx

Manitoba

Northwest Territories

New Brunswick

Bill 60 – Health Charter of Rights and Responsibilities Act https://www.gnb.ca/legis/bill/pdf/54/5/Bill-60.pdf

Newfoundland & Labrador

Nova Scotia

Nunavut

Ontario

Bill 41, Patients’ Bill of Rights, 1996 (Mrs. Caplan); Bill 50, Health Care Accountability and Patients’ Bill of Rights Act, 1998 (Mrs. Boyd); and Bill 18, Health Care Accountability and Patients’ Bill of Rights Act, 1999 (Mrs. Boyd) were introduced.  None of the three bills has become law.  Bill 22, Patients’ Bill of Rights (Tommy Douglas Act), 2003 https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-38/session-1/bill-22 only passed its 1st reading.  Currently, Ontarian’s rights are protected by laws such as the Health Care Consent Act, the Long-Term Care Homes Act and the Mental Health Act.

Quebec

S-4.2 – Act Respecting Health Services and Social Services http://legisquebec.gouv.qc.ca/fr/document/lc/S-4.2

Saskatchewan

Yukon

Yukon Hospital Corporation Patient Rights & Responsibilities https://yukonhospitals.ca/node/347