Regulation Matters 2019 - Issue 2

New Legislation Applies to Dietitians

Regarding Missing Persons Act, 2018

A new law, effective July 1st, 2019, applies to everyone but may have special application to health care practitioners. The Missing Persons Act, 2018 ( enables police to make an “urgent demand for records” where a “missing person” has not been in contact with people they would expect to have been in contact with, and there is reasonable grounds to believe their safety is at risk.

While this demand can be made of anyone, it is anticipated that health care practitioners, cell phone providers and financial institutions are most likely to receive these requests. The request from the police will specify the type of information sought, which information is intended to assist the police in locating the individual. This new power is designed to assist in cases where no criminal activity is suspected (where search warrants would be available). Likely the exceptions in the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA), already permit this disclosure, but now cooperation is mandatory.