Is the complaint process confidential?
CMBC will not disclose complaint details to the general public during the course of its investigation. However, to investigate the complaint, the College will disclose any information necessary to individuals and organizations that may have information regarding the allegations being made.
The Health Professions Act requires that CMBC publish the outcomes of an investigation if it is in relation to a serious matter. In these cases the public notification must include:
(a) the name of the registrant respecting whom or the health profession corporation respecting which the action was taken; (b) a description of the action taken; (c) the reasons for the action taken.
These publications can be found here: https://www.cmbc.bc.ca/complaints/complaints/published-consent-agreements/
The Act allows the College to withhold some of this information in order to protect the interests of the complainant and other parties, including identifying them.
If the complaint leads to a Discipline Hearing, the hearing will be public unless requested and permitted to be held in private.
Will the midwife know I made a complaint?
Yes, the CMBC is bound to the principle of procedural fairness whereby the Registered Midwife must have an opportunity to respond to the allegations made against her. To this end, the midwife will be given a copy of the complaint and a copy of any other information gathered during the investigation to which the panel will review and provided an opportunity to respond.
The complaints process is not meant to be a punitive process, but rather provides an opportunity for the midwife to reflect on her practice and undertake to remediate in the case of unsatisfactory conduct or competence. Furthermore, the process is designed to provide feedback to the College regarding the conduct and/or competence of practising midwives to ensure the regulations are in place to protect the public.
Can I submit a complaint about an RM anonymously?
The College may accept anonymous complaints in certain, limited circumstances. If you wish to make an anonymous complaint, contact CMBC before submitting your complaint to ensure your circumstances allow for anonymity.
Can I find out if a midwife has had complaints about her in the past?
Under the Health Professions Act, the College publishes information about a registrant’s licensing history.
The College’s inquiry and discipline notification page publishes undertaking or orders impacting a registrant’s license. The College’s public notifications page is available here: https://www.cmbc.bc.ca/complaints/complaints/published-consent-agreements/
On request to the Registrar, Louise Aerts, the College may also disclose any consent agreement signed by a registrant as a result of an investigation into conduct or competence.
Locating Medical Records
What is a medical record?
A medical record is a paper or digital file that contains information about a client, including their demographic information, their personal health number, contacts, the date and details of every visit and interaction, and copies of consultations, diagnostic and screening tests, and operative reports. Midwives are obligated to keep medical records for every client they see.
Who owns the medical record?
The actual documents contained in a client’s medical record are owned by the midwife who created, received or requested them. However, a client may request a full copy of the content of the medical record upon written request.
How long is a midwife required to keep a client’s medical record?
In accordance with relevant legislation, a midwife must retain an adult client’s medical record for at least 16 years from the date of the last entry in the record. They must retain the newborn record for 35 years (age of majority (19) plus 16 years).
What happens to medical records when a midwife retires, or a practice closes?
In accordance with CMBC Bylaws, when a midwife ceases to practice, they must securely transfer all medical records for any previous or current clients under their professional care to another midwife, health care provider, person or organization. The transferring midwife must obtain and retain a written contract with details of the records transfer. They must also notify CMBC of the location and custodian contact information for their transferred medical records. If you are a former client of a midwife who has ceased to practice and need to request a copy of your medical record, please contact CMBC.
For more information about the complaint process, who can I contact?
Toll-free: 1-866-880-7101 (within Canada only)