The breach of the Health Information Protection Act (HIPA) in the wake of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash has led to College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan to advocate for changes to legislation. Practicing physicians who had provided care to Broncos patients followed up by seeking information using the province's Electronic Health Record Viewer. Existing legislation prohibits physicians from accessing such information unless they are in direct and immediate care of an individual.
Bryan Salte, Associate Registrar for the College of Physicians and Surgeons, confirmed the findings of the Privacy Commissioner which found that there was not an intent to breach the Act on the part of the physicians. Rather, the practitioners believed that it was within their scope to follow up on their patients using the digital information system. Such confusion may have resulted from the fact that Saskatchewan's legislation differs from that of Alberta and Ontario. In fact, Salte states that in this case, there was no means to access such follow up information "without the express consent of the patient to do so," and that this fact presented some concern. At an Executive meeting of the college held on February 12, Salte reported, "the Executive Committee expressed considerable concern with that kind of limitation which they felt was inconsistent with appropriate health care for patients but that is the way the current regulation reads."
Provinces such as Alberta and Ontario allow physicians to access medical information following immediate care. When asked if changes would be forthcoming to attempt to bring Saskatchewan legislation in line with other provinces, Salte confirmed, "it was discussed at the Executive Committee meeting and they asked me to move forward with some suggestions for changes and bring it more in line with what our Executive Committee thinks is appropriate medical care."