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Professional Conduct report – March 2024

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Discipline Decisions, March Messenger 2024 | Posted March 14, 2024
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Dr. Eileen Ma sanctioned for improperly accessing health records

Dr. Eileen Ma, a family physician from Calgary, was sanctioned by a CPSA Hearing Tribunal after admitting to unprofessional conduct.

Dr. Ma was accused of accessing the personal health information records of three patients in 2020 without an authorized purpose for doing so, in breach of Alberta’s Health Information Act and contrary to CPSA’s Code of Ethics and Professionalism.

Dr. Ma admitted to the allegations and conceded that her actions amounted to unprofessional conduct. The Hearing Tribunal accepted a joint submission on sanction and ordered that Dr. Ma receive a written reprimand. Dr. Ma was also ordered to unconditionally pass a privacy and confidentiality course at her own expense (which she has already done). Costs were not ordered by the Hearing Tribunal.

Learnings for the profession

Maintaining confidentiality and respecting the privacy of patients is an important part of medical practice, as patients should be able to trust that their personal health information will not be used improperly by health professionals. Regulated members who would like to know more might consider completing the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA)’s online course on privacy and confidentiality.

While receiving a complaint can be a stressful experience, cooperating fully with an investigation can expedite the process and, in some cases, may have an impact on costs.

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