NDP Votes Against 40-year Ban for Sexually Abusive Doctors

EDMONTON, AB: The NDP today voted down a United Conservative amendment to Bill 21, An Act to Protect Patients, that would have extended the proposed ban for physicians and other regulated health professionals who are caught sexually abusing their patients.

“The United Conservative Caucus strongly believes that any health professional caught abusing patients should never be able to practice medicine in this province again,” said UCP Health Critic Tany Yao. “After the NDP voted down an earlier amendment to extend the proposed ban for life, we felt it was incumbent on us to try and extend it as long as possible. It is incredibly disturbing to know that the NDP feels so strongly that a five-year ban is an adequate punishment for such a heinous offence.”

Bill 21 would require a mandatory five-year ban on practicing medicine for all regulated health professionals who have been found to have sexually abused a patient. The common-sense United Conservative amendment defeated today by the NDP would have seen this ban extended to a minimum of 40 years.

“Albertans across the province were in disbelief when we learned earlier this year that an Edmonton physician convicted of sexually assaulting a female patient and a colleague was still practicing medicine,” said UCP Deputy Leader and Status of Women Critic Leela Aheer. “We all deserve to feel safe in our doctor’s offices and patients put great trust in medical professionals. When that trust is broken, especially due to sexual abuse or misconduct, the consequences must be severe and I am disappointed to learn that this NDP government disagrees.”