PRO BONO PROGRAM FOR HEALTH DISCIPLINES
The members of Bell Temple’s Health Disciplines Unit represents regulated health professionals, including:
Registered massage therapists;
Occupational health nurses; and
We assist regulated professionals with:
• discipline proceedings from the complaint stage through to hearings;
• reviews at the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board; and
• defence services in the event of malpractice litigation.
We also provide summary, preventative legal advice through our pro bono hotline, to members of participating associations and malpractice insurance programs.
What does “pro bono” mean?
The summary legal advice that we provide through this service is free of charge. We provide it as a “value added” service in cooperation with professional associations, insurance brokers and insurers, but we receive no payment for it.
We appreciate your co-operation in using the service efficiently. Please have your insurance particulars readily available, as well as a concise summary of the pertinent facts and issues.
What about confidentiality?
The usual solicitor-client privilege rules apply to our pro bono service, even though we do not receive a monetary retainer. For purposes of quality assurance, we will require that you provide your name and telephone number.
Who is eligible for this service?
Some health professionals, through their membership in participating associations and insurance programs, have access to our pro bono hotline. If this pertains to you, you will have received notice of our program with your insurance policy.
For members of participating nation-wide associations seeking advice that involves interpretation of the law of a province other than Ontario, we provide referrals. You may look to us for the names of counsel(s) in other provinces who also participate in the pro bono program.
What is the scope of hotline questions?
The hotline provides summary, preventative legal advice, pertaining to professional conduct issues that could otherwise result in College complaints or malpractice actions.
The hotline does not extend to other types of legal issues, such as negotiation of employment contracts, termination of employment, lease disputes, and other issues that do not have implications for College discipline proceeding or malpractice actions. For questions of this nature, we suggest you call the lawyer referral service operated by the Law Society in your province.
The hotline is not appropriate when you have already received notice of a College Complaint or malpractice action. In this eventuality, it is too late for preventative advice, and the summary nature of the pro bono program is not sufficient to provide the comprehensive guidance necessary to respond to the allegations.
We will, however, be pleased to answer your questions about matters of procedure.
When do I call an insurance broker?
We are lawyers in independent professional practice, and not the agents of your insurance company.
Any questions about the adequacy of your insurance limits, whether certain conduct is covered by your insurance policy etc., should be directed to your insurance broker.
Please note that a call to our hotline is not sufficient to meet the obligations under your insurance policy to give your insurer notice of a claim or anticipated claim. If you receive notice of an actual or possible College complaint or lawsuit, you must call your insurance broker immediately.