A healthcare professional is in a position of power and trust over a patient. They have professional knowledge and skill that a patient relies upon for their well-being. In addition, they have access to patients’ personal health information.

In April, 2019, the Alberta Government passed Bill 21: An Act to Protect Patients. This Act amended the Health Professions Act RSA 2000 c H-7 (HPA) to require all Health Profession Colleges to develop a Patient Relations Program to prevent and address the sexual assault and abuse of patients. The Patient Relations Program also endeavors to support victims by providing support, resources and funding.

The amendments further provided consistent penalties that apply to all regulated members of health professions who are found to have engaged in sexual abuse or sexual misconduct against patients and restrictions on future registration.

The CAA has developed their Patient Relations Program and recognize the importance of protecting the public and addressing the needs of victims of sexual assault and abuse. The staff, council and tribunal/panel members will all engage in training to ensure that they are equipped with an understanding of the complexity of sexual assault and abuse and the resulting trauma.