Physician privileges case shows limited jurisdiction of HRTO

A case involving a physician illustrates the limited jurisdiction of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) over unfair — but not discriminatory — interference with hospital privileges Lonny tells AdvocateDaily.

“This matter highlights the fact that health professionals need to deal with unfair policy or action by a hospital or facility through the Public Hospitals Act or the courts,” he says. 

“The Human Rights Tribunal will not assist unless there is evidence of discrimination on the basis one of the enumerated grounds set out in the Human Rights Code.”

Rosen notes how the physician, in this case, had hospital privileges that required a certain amount of on-call time. The hospital had a policy that stipulated doctors’ on-call time would be gradually reduced as they became closer to their retirement.

The physician, a specialist in internal medicine, went to the HRTO after he was advised that he would be required to resign his privileges in accordance with the hospital’s on-call policy, which he argued was tantamount to mandatory retirement, says the tribunal’s decision. 

The policy sets out how physicians may apply to the hospital for a special arrangement to allow for reduced on-call time as they near retirement, says the ruling. 

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