Guidelines

Screening of Potential Patients

 

(1)       A physician who is accepting patients on anything other than a "first come first served basis" must establish criteria for patient selection based on matters relevant to the physician's scope of medical practice.

 

(2)      A physician's criteria for selection must not include any prohibited ground of discrimination, including age, gender, marital status, medical condition, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic  status.

 

(3)       A physician must inform a potential patient of his or her medical practice limitations, restrictions, and selection criteria prior to accepting that person as a patient, preferably before the introductory visit.

 

(4)       A physician must advise a potential patient in advance when an introductory appointment is not a medical appointment.

 

(5)       When a person is not accepted as a patient in a physician's medical practice, the physician must advise the person of the reasons unless disclosure of the reasons could be expected to:

 

(a)    result in immediate and grave harm to that person’s mental or physical health or safety,

(b)    threaten the mental health and physical health or safety of another individual, or

(c)    pose a threat to public safety.

 

(6)       A physician who treats injuries in the usual course of the physician's medical practice must not refuse to treat a person with injuries sustained under circumstances that may require the physician to prepare and provide additional documentation or reports.

 

(7)       A physician must not refuse to accept a patient into his or her medical practice because that person’s care may require more time than other patients with fewer medical needs.

 

(8)       Notwithstanding subsections (6) and (7), it is acceptable for a physician to arrange for another healthcare provider to treat the patient if the arrangement is acceptable to the patient and the other healthcare provider.

 

(9)       Notwithstanding subsection (8), a physician must provide care to a person in an urgent medical situation when no other physician is immediately available.

 

(10)     Information collected for the purposes of screening prospective patients must be collected, disclosed and retained in accordance with relevant privacy legislation and the College's requirements.

 

 

Based on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta

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