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Following Public Health Orders: Expectations of Pharmacy Professionals
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented pressure on the healthcare system and pharmacy professionals have provided unparalleled access for patients and the public during this time. Public health measures continue to evolve in step with new scientific evidence on the mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All pharmacists are expected to observe and follow Public Health Orders as set forth by the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, including but not limited to, masking requirements, self-isolation requirements, and vaccination/testing requirements for designated persons.
The College encourages members of the public to review the Public Health Order as vaccination and testing requirements may vary by health care setting. Members of the public should feel empowered to advocate for their care, including asking the facility or health care provider about their policies regarding vaccination/testing for pharmacists.
The Complaint Resolution Process Map and Risk Assessment Tool provides a helpful overview of how complaints are managed and considered by the Complaints Committee. This tool helps the Complaints Committee to make consistent and fair decisions that uphold the trust and protection of the public.
Filing a Complaint
If you wish to file a formal complaint, provincial legislation requires that you do so in writing. You can submit a letter to the College by mail, email, or fax.
When you communicate with the College, we require that you do so respectfully by following our Respectful Communication Statement.
Details to Include in a Complaint Letter:
- Your name, address, telephone number and email address
- The name of the pharmacist involved (if known)
- The name and address of the pharmacy
- A specific, detailed description of the events that led to your complaint, including date(s)
- Copies of any documentation that support your complaint
If exceptional circumstances exist that prevent you from writing a letter, you can make arrangements to meet with a College staff member, who will transcribe your concerns.
Our staff member will send you a copy of the written account of your complaint for you to verify and sign before submitting it to the Complaints Committee for consideration.
When the College receives a written complaint, we forward it to the pharmacist or pharmacy manager for review and response. They are permitted two weeks to provide a written response along with any supporting documentation.
The complaint and the pharmacist’s response then go to the Complaints Committee for consideration. The Complaints Committee includes a chairperson (a pharmacist) as well as two other practicing pharmacists and two government-appointed public representatives.
After considering the complaint, the Committee decides if the matter needs further investigation or if there is enough information to make a decision right away. If the Committee orders an investigation, a College investigator will contact you to gather a statement and any additional information that may help decide the matter.
To review decisions made by the Discipline Committee, see our Decisions of the Discipline Committee page.
Under provincial legislation, the Complaints Committee can decide to:
- Refer the matter to mediation
- Censure the pharmacist
- Accept voluntary surrender of licence or registration, which may include a formal agreement with the pharmacist
- Suspend the pharmacist’s licence or impose conditions on the pharmacist’s practice
- Dismiss the matter if there is not sufficient evidence to indicate that professional misconduct, professional incompetence, or incapacity was likely
- Refer the complaint to the Discipline Committee
The amount of time required to resolve a complaint varies and could take several months. The College takes all complaints seriously, and the severity and complexity of the matter may lengthen the time necessary to consider all of the issues and reach a decision.
Once the Committee makes its decision regarding your complaint, you will get a written notice. You have 30 days to appeal should you be dissatisfied with the Committee’s decision.