Putting clinic inspection results online falls short, says Councillor Anthony Perruzza, who will table a motion in council next Wednesday.
By: Carys Mills News reporter, Published on Fri Feb 15 2013
Adding to pressure on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to increase transparency, a city councillor is demanding clinics be forced to post inspection results in their offices.
Putting such results online falls short, said Councillor Anthony Perruzza, who will table a motion next Wednesday asking city council to formally request the college require clinics to post hard copies detailing passes, failures and conditions.
“Not everybody is website savvy, not everybody thinks about going to the college’s website,” he said, comparing his proposal to the city’s DineSafe program, which requires restaurants to post inspection notices.
“If the college can post it on its website, why can’t it simply post a note at the front door?”
The college passed a bylaw last month, following several Star stories about its secrecy, to publish clinic names, inspection status and reasons for that status on its website. But the college’s council hasn’t considered ordering clinics to post results on their premises, said college spokeswoman Prithi Yelaja.
“Individual premises are free to post inspection results and many are already doing so,” Yelaja said in an email, noting that if people can’t access the information online they can call a toll-free number.
Perruzza said he will explore if the city can force the issue beyond advocacy if the college doesn’t update its bylaw to mandate posting results in the private clinics, which provide services including cosmetic surgery, colonoscopies, pain relief and cataract surgery.
Councillor Joe Mihevc, chair of the Board of Health, said he didn’t think the city has any authority over the college. Unlike restaurants, which are inspected by city employees, clinics fall under provincial jurisdiction, he said.
The city solicitor will be at the meeting, as usual, and will be able to answer council’s questions about the municipality’s authority, said city spokeswoman Wynna Brown.
The posting of restaurant and clinic inspection results “really shouldn’t be different,” said U of T public health policy lecturer Neil Seeman.
“The much more fundamental issue,” he said, “is that consumers of health care do not get sufficient information.”
With files from Victoria Ptashnick