BILL NO. 107
1st Session, 60th General Assembly
55 Elizabeth II, 2006
The Honourable Chris d'Entremont
Minister of Health
Reading: November 15, 2006
Second Reading: November 16, 2006
Reading: November 23, 2006 (WITH COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS)
(LINK TO BILL AS PASSED)
An Act Respecting Midwifery
Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 This Act may be cited as the Midwifery Act.
2 In this Act,
(a) "active-practising licence" means a
licence to practise midwifery issued to a person who meets the criteria for
entry in the active-practising roster as set out in the regulations;
(b) "Association" means the Association
as defined in the regulations;
(c) "complaint" means a notice in
writing pursuant to this Act, indicating possible professional misconduct,
conduct unbecoming the profession or incompetence of a member;
(d) "Council" means the Midwifery
Regulatory Council of Nova Scotia;
(e) "hearing panel" means the hearing
panel established pursuant to this Act;
(f) "incompetence" means the display of
lack of knowledge, skill or judgement in the member's care of a client or
delivery of midwifery services that, having regard to all the circumstances,
rendered the respondent unsafe to practise at the time of such care of the
client or delivery of midwifery services or that renders the member unsafe to
continue in practice without remedial assistance;
(g) "member" means a person whose name
is recorded in the Register;
(h) "midwife" means a person whose name
appears on the Register and who has an active-practising licence;
(i) "practice of midwifery" means
(i) the assessment and monitoring of the health of a mother and her baby
during pregnancy, labour and the post-partum period,
either within or outside of a
hospital setting and research, education, consultation, management,
administration, regulation, policy or system development relating to subclauses
(i) to (v);
(ii) the provision of care in the
normal course of pregnancy, labour and the post-partum period,
(iii) the management of vaginal
(iv) the ordering and interpreting of
screening and diagnostic tests and the recommending, prescribing or
re-ordering of drugs restricted to actual delivery and care, blood products
and related paraphernalia respecting the provision of care in the normal
course of pregnancy, labour and the post-partum period, and
(v) invasive procedures restricted to
actual delivery and care, as prescribed by regulation,
(j) "professional misconduct" means such
conduct, attitude or acts relevant to the profession that, having regard to all
the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded as disgraceful, dishonourable or
unprofessional and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes
(i) failing to maintain the standards of midwifery practice,
(ii) failing to uphold the code of
ethics adopted by the Council,
(iii) abusing a person verbally,
physically, emotionally or sexually,
(iv) misappropriating personal
property, drugs or other property belonging to a client or a member's
(v) inappropriately influencing a
client to make or change a will or power of attorney,
(vi) wrongfully abandoning a client,
(vii) neglecting to provide care to a
(viii) failing to exercise discretion
in respect of the disclosure of confidential information,
(ix) falsifying records,
(x) inappropriately using professional
midwifery status for personal gain,
(xi) promoting for personal gain any
drug, device, treatment, procedure, product or service that is unnecessary,
ineffective or unsafe,
(xii) publishing, or causing to be
published, any advertisement that is false, fraudulent, deceptive or
(xiii) engaging or assisting in fraud,
misrepresentation, deception or concealment of a material fact when applying
for or securing registration or a licence to practise midwifery or taking any
examination provided for in this Act, including using fraudulently procured
(xiv) taking or using the designation
"registered midwife", "midwife", or any derivation or abbreviation thereof, or
describing the person's activities as "midwifery" in any advertisement or
publication, including business cards, websites or signage, unless the
referenced activity falls within the definition of the "practice of
(k) "Register" means the Midwifery
Register established pursuant to this Act;
(l) "Registrar" means the Registrar
appointed by the Council;
(m) "Registration Appeal Committee"
means the Registration Appeal Committee established pursuant to this Act;
(n) "roster" means the record of the
class of licensing established pursuant to this Act or the regulations;
(o) "standards of midwifery
practice" means the minimal professional practice expectations for a midwife in
any setting or role approved by Council or otherwise inherent in the practice of
MIDWIFERY REGULATORY COUNCIL
3 (1) The Midwifery
Regulatory Council of Nova Scotia is hereby constituted as a body corporate and,
subject to this Act, has the capacity, rights, powers and privileges of a
(2) The Council has perpetual
succession and a common seal, with power to acquire, hold, lease, mortgage and
otherwise dispose of real and personal property, and may sue and be sued.
4 (1) The Council consists of the
following persons, appointed by the Governor in Council:
(a) three persons recommended by the
Association who are registered or eligible to be registered in a province of
Canada as a midwife;
(b) a registered nurse recommended by
the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia;
(c) a physician recommended by the
College of Physicians and Surgeons; and
(d) up to three members of
the public who are not members of a health profession and who have shown an
interest in serving on the Council.
(2) The members of the
Council shall receive such remuneration and allowances as may be determined by
the Governor in Council.
(3) The members of the Council
shall be paid such reasonable expenses incurred by them in the performance of
their duties as are determined by the Governor in Council.
5 A majority of the members of
the Council constitute a quorum.
6 (1) Each member of the
Council holds office for a term, not exceeding three years, prescribed in the
member's appointment, unless the Governor in Council revokes the member's
appointment sooner, and is eligible for re-appointment to the Council.
subsection (1), members of the Council continue to hold office until their
successors are appointed or until such time as they are re-appointed.
(3) The Governor in Council
may appoint persons to fill vacancies occurring from time to time on the
(4) A vacancy on the Council
does not impair the right of the remaining members to act.
7 (1) The Council shall
(a) regulate the practice of midwifery
in accordance with the registration, licensing and professional conduct
processes set out in this Act and the regulations;
(b) establish, maintain and promote
standards of midwifery practice and consult with the College of Physicians and
Surgeons of Nova Scotia, Doctors Nova Scotia and the College of Registered
Nurses of Nova Scotia on these standards;
(c) approve and promote a code of
(d) perform such other
duties and exercise such other powers as are imposed or conferred on the Council
by or under any Act or regulations.
(2) In addition to any other power
conferred by this or any other Act, the Council may do such things as it
considers appropriate to perform its duties under this Act and the regulations
and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, may
(a) purchase, take in, lease, exchange,
hire, construct and otherwise acquire and hold, sell, mortgage, hypothecate,
lease out or otherwise deal with any real or personal property;
(b) draw, make, accept, endorse,
discount, execute and issue promissory notes, bills of exchange, warrants and
other negotiable and transferable instruments;
(c) engage such agents and employees as
it, from time to time, deems expedient;
(d) improve, manage, develop, exchange,
dispose of, turn to account or otherwise deal with the real or personal property
of the Council; or
(e) do such things as are
incidental or necessary to the exercise of the powers referred to in clauses (a)
8 The Council may make by-laws
(a) providing for the holding of
meetings of the Council or committees of the Council and the conduct of such
(b) fixing the time and place for
regular meetings of Council, determining by whom meetings may be called,
regulating the conduct of meetings, providing for emergency meetings and
regulating the notice required in respect of meetings;
(c) providing for the appointment of
such committees as the Council deems expedient;
(d) respecting the composition, powers
and duties of such committees as may be appointed by the Council and providing
for the holding and conduct of meetings of such committees;
(e) prescribing fees payable pursuant to
this Act by applicants and members and, where the Council deems it advisable,
prescribing different fees for different classes of applicants and members;
(f) prescribing forms and providing for
(g) prescribing the criteria to be met
for candidates recommended to the Governor in Council for appointment to the
(h) respecting the powers, duties and
qualifications of the officers, agents and employees of the Council;
(i) approving a code of ethics and the
standards of midwifery practice;
(j) respecting all other things
necessary for the administration of the affairs of the Council.
9 (1) Subject to the approval of the
Governor in Council, the Council may make regulations
(a) regulating the registration,
licensing, discipline and re-instatement of members;
(b) respecting a continuing competency
program and requiring members to participate in any such program and providing
for any other matter that will facilitate or give effect to such program;
(c) respecting the verification of
members' compliance with the continuing competence program;
(d) respecting the limitation of the
duration of a licence to practise for non-compliance with the continuing
(e) respecting the information to be
included on the Register;
(f) respecting the revocation or
suspension of licences issued pursuant to this Act and the re-instatement of
such licences and allowing for conditions, limitations or restrictions to be
attached to a re-instated licence;
(g) creating one or more classes and
rosters of licensing, including a provisional licence, and prescribing the
rights, privileges, qualifications and obligations of the member of each class
and prescribing the conditions for the entry and maintenance of members' names
in each roster;
(h) respecting the limiting or
qualifying of a member's licence including, but not limited to, procedures and
(i) respecting the type of professional
liability insurance or other form of malpractice coverage a member must
(j) determining the procedure to be
followed at hearings by a hearing panel;
(k) respecting the powers, duties and
qualifications of the Registrar;
(l) regulating, controlling or
prohibiting the use of terms, titles or designations by members or groups or
associations of members in respect of their practice;
(m) allowing for an award of costs on a
solicitor-client or other basis;
(n) providing that the licence of a
member be suspended without notice or investigation upon contravention of any
regulation that requires the member to pay a fee, file a document or do any
other act by a specified or ascertainable date and providing for the
re-instatement of a licence so suspended upon payment of such fee as determined
by the Council;
(o) prescribing the powers and functions
of committees and the processes and procedures to be utilized by committees;
(p) respecting the recognition of
midwifery schools and examinations as prerequisites to registration and
(q) respecting the assessment process
required for registration as registered midwives;
(r) respecting any quality assurance
(s) respecting the criteria for
(t) respecting the remuneration,
allowances and expenses for members of the Council;
(u) respecting the prescribing of drugs
restricted to actual delivery and care by a midwife;
(v) respecting invasive procedures that
a member may perform and any conditions or restrictions on the performance of
(w) defining any word or expression used
but not defined in this Act;
(x) further defining any word or
expression defined in this Act;
(y) governing such other
matters as the Council considers necessary or advisable for the effective
discharge of its functions or the exercise of its powers.
(2) The exercise by the Council
of the authority contained in subsection (1) is regulations within the meaning
of the Regulations Act.
10 The Council shall appoint
annually from its members a Chair and a Vice-chair.
11 The Council shall meet
quarterly or more frequently when deemed necessary by the Council.
12 The Council may appoint such
committees as the Council considers necessary to assist it in carrying out its
duties pursuant to this Act.
13 The Council shall submit an
annual report to the Minister of Health containing the information prescribed by
REGISTRATION AND LICENSING
14 (1) A Registrar shall be
appointed by the Council who holds office at the pleasure of the Council, at
such salary or other remuneration as determined by the Minister of Health.
(2) Subject to subsection
(4), the Registrar shall perform all of the duties assigned to the Registrar
under this Act and the regulations.
(3) The Council may appoint
such other officers, agents and employees at such salary or other remuneration
as determined by the Minister of Health and for such term of office as the
Council considers necessary to assist the Council in carrying out its duties
pursuant to this Act.
(4) The Registrar may delegate
any functions assigned to the Registrar by this Act or the regulations.
15 Subject to the requirements for
registration set out in the regulations, an applicant who provides the Registrar
with such evidence as may be required to establish that the applicant
(a) holds a baccalaureate degree from a
Canadian university midwifery education program; or
(b) has educational qualifications
equivalent to the degree referred to in clause (a),
is entitled to become a
registrant of the College and to have the applicant's name entered in the
Register in the appropriate class.
16 (1) The Registrar shall
cause to be kept a Midwifery Register in which the names of those persons who
qualify for registration according to this Act and the regulations are
(2) The Register shall
include such other information as may be required by the regulations.
(3) The classes of licences
recorded in the Register shall be as set out in the regulations.
(4) The Council shall cause
to be maintained separate rosters for each class of licence as provided by the
(5) The Registrar shall also cause to be
kept a record available to the public showing
(a) the name and registration number of
every person authorized to engage in the practice of midwifery;
(b) any conditions or restrictions on
such person's licence, if the Council determines it is in the public interest to
have such conditions or restrictions available to the public; and
(c) any licensing sanctions
imposed on a member that are not otherwise subject to a publication ban.
(6) Any person may inspect the
Register at all reasonable times during normal business hours at the head office
of the Council.
17 The Registrar shall issue a
licence to a person who meets the criteria for entry as set out in this Act and
the regulations and register the person in the Register.
18 Where the Registrar is not
satisfied that an applicant meets the requirements for registration set out in
this Act and the regulations, the Registrar shall refuse to register the
applicant and shall notify the applicant in writing of the decision.
19 (1) The Council shall
appoint a Registration Appeal Committee, the membership of which may be
determined by the Council from time to time.
(2) The Registration Appeal
Committee shall perform the functions and duties set out in this Act, the
regulations and the by-laws.
(3) An applicant who is
refused registration under this Act may, by written notice, appeal that decision
to the Registration Appeal Committee within thirty days of receipt of such
(4) An appeal before the
Registration Appeal Committee shall be conducted in the manner and follow the
procedure set out in the regulations.
(5) The decision of the
Registration Appeal Committee is final.
(6) Each person on the
Registration Appeal Committee has all the rights, powers, duties and privileges
of a commissioner appointed pursuant to the Public Inquiries Act.
20 (1) Notwithstanding
anything contained in this Act, where any person has been convicted or found to
be guilty, by a court in or outside of Canada, of any offence that is
inconsistent with the proper professional behaviour of a midwife, including a
conviction under the Criminal Code (Canada) or the Controlled Drug and
Substances Act (Canada), and such person applies for registration under this
Act, the Council and the Registrar may refuse to register such person, but the
Council may, at any time, permit such person to be registered or to remain
registered upon such terms and conditions as the Council directs.
(2) Upon application for
registration or a licence, an applicant shall advise the Registrar, in writing,
of any convictions referred to in subsection (1).
21 Unless otherwise suspended,
revoked or amended, a licence to practise midwifery remains in effect until the
expiration of the year in which it was issued.
22 (1) The Registrar shall
renew a licence to practise midwifery if the person who holds the licence
applies for renewal, pays the applicable fee as established by the by-laws and
meets the requirements for renewal of a licence as prescribed in the
(2) The licence of any member
who fails to pay prescribed annual fees as required by subsection (1) or who
fails to comply within the prescribed period with any continuing competence
requirements established in regulations shall be suspended in accordance with
the procedure prescribed by the regulations.
(3) The Registrar shall
forthwith notify, in writing, any person whose licence has been suspended
pursuant to this Section.
23 (1) Where the licence of a
member has been suspended pursuant to subsection 21(2), where there has been
non-compliance with continuing-competency requirements or in any other case
where the licence of a member has expired or lapsed pursuant to this Act for
non-payment of fees, the person may apply to the Registrar for re-licensing.
(2) Where a person referred to in
subsection (1) satisfies the Registrar
(a) of the person's intention to
practise midwifery in the Province;
(b) as to the person's activities since
the date of the suspension or expiry or lapsing of the person's licence;
(c) that the person has maintained and
possesses an appropriate level of skill and knowledge in midwifery;
(d) as to the person's good standing in
all jurisdictions in which the person has practised midwifery since the date of
the suspension or expiry or lapsing of the person's licence;
(e) that the person has paid all fees or
any other amount owing to the Council and such administrative fees as may be
(f) that the person has complied with
the Registrar may issue a
licence to the person.
(3) Where the Registrar is not satisfied
with the evidence presented pursuant to subsection (2), the Registrar
(a) may; or
(b) where the applicant so requests in
refer the matter to the
(4) Upon a referral pursuant
to subsection (3), the Council, in consultation with the Registrar, shall
consider the eligibility of the application and may make such inquiries or
demand such further information as the Council sees fit, and the Council shall
consider the application in accordance with this Act.
(5) Where the person requests
the opportunity to appear before the Council, this request shall be granted and
the person may appear with legal counsel.
(6) After hearing the applicant and the
Registrar, the Council may
(a) direct the Registrar to issue a
licence to the applicant;
(b) direct the Registrar to issue a
licence to the applicant subject to such conditions, limitations or restrictions
as the Council considers appropriate;
(c) adjourn further consideration of the
application pending completion by the applicant of such training, upgrading,
clinical examinations or other examinations as the Council may designate; or
(d) direct the Registrar to
refuse the application if the Council is not satisfied that the applicant meets
the criteria set out in subsection (2).
24 Every licence issued pursuant
to Section 23 is subject to any conditions, limitations or restrictions
contained in the licence that had expired, lapsed or been suspended pursuant to
subsection 22(2), unless the Council orders otherwise.
25 Subject to the regulations,
no person shall take or use the designation "Registered Midwife", "midwife" or a
variation or equivalent in another language of the title in the Province, either
alone or in combination with other words, letters or descriptions to imply that
the person is entitled to practise as a midwife in the Province unless the
person is a holder of an active-practising licence with or without conditions or
PRACTICE OF MIDWIFERY
26 (1) Subject to subsection (2), no
person shall engage in the practice of midwifery unless such practice is
(a) the midwife's individual scope of
(b) the standards of
(2) Unless otherwise
authorized by this Act or the regulations, or any other law, no midwife shall
practise outside the scope of the practice of midwifery.
(3) No person shall engage in the
practice of midwifery in the Province unless
(a) that person's name is entered in the
Register and that person is the holder of a licence, with or without conditions
or restrictions; or
(b) that person is a student
enrolled in an approved midwifery education program and is authorized by the
administrators of the program to engage in the practice of midwifery.
27 Where the right of a person
to practise as a midwife has been limited by the imposition of conditions or
restrictions pursuant to this Act or the regulations, particulars of all
conditions or restrictions imposed on that person shall be noted in the Register
and on the member's licence during any time when such conditions or restrictions
28 The Registrar shall annotate the
(a) a person's name has been incorrectly
(b) notification is received of a
(c) the registration of a member has
(d) the Registrar, as part of an
informal resolution of a complaint, or the hearing panel authorizes the
resignation of a member from the Register; or
(e) a member has requested in writing
and the Registrar, as part of an informal resolution of a complaint or
otherwise, has approved the resignation of the member,
and a person referred to in
clauses (b) to (e) ceases to be a member of the College.
29 (1) The Council shall cause the
removal of the name of a member from the Register
(a) if the member no longer meets the
criteria for entry on the relevant roster;
(b) at the request of the member, upon
surrendering any licence held by the member;
(c) if the member's name has been
(d) if notification is received of the
(e) for non-payment of fees or other
assessments levied under this Act or the regulations;
(f) if the member has been suspended,
for the term of the suspension;
(g) if the registration of the member
has been revoked; or
(h) if a hearing panel or
the Council authorizes the removal of the member from the Register.
(2) The name of a person removed from the
appropriate roster pursuant to clauses (1)(a) to (f) shall be restored upon
(a) payment of the prescribed fee; and
(b) compliance by the person
with this Act and the regulations.
(3) The name of a person removed from
the appropriate roster pursuant to clauses 28(d) or (e) or (1)(h) shall only be
(a) the hearing panel or the Registrar
authorizing the resignation of the member permits the member to re-apply for
(b) the Council determines,
on such conditions or with such restrictions as the Council directs, that the
registration or licence be re-instated.
(4) Where a midwife has been suspended,
the Registrar shall re-instate the person in the Register if
(a) the suspension is for a stated
period, on the expiry of that period; or
(b) terms and conditions for
re-instatement were set by a hearing panel, when the terms and conditions have
30 (1) Every member who is
engaged in the practice of midwifery must hold a current licence to practice
midwifery with or without conditions or restrictions.
(2) Every person, other than a client,
who employs a person in the practice of midwifery and every agency or registry
that procures employment for a person in the practice of midwifery shall
(a) ensure that the person, at the time
of employment and each year employed thereafter, holds a current licence to
practise midwifery; and
(b) where the person's
employment is terminated or the person resigns because of allegations of
professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming the profession or incompetence,
report the matter to the Council forthwith and provide a copy of the report to
the person whose employment is terminated.
31 A midwife shall
(a) identify conditions in a mother and
her baby that necessitate consultation or referral to a physician or other
health care professional, in accordance with standards approved by the
(b) consult with a physician regarding
any deviations from the normal course of pregnancy, labour, delivery and the
post-partum period, in accordance with standards approved by the Council;
(c) transfer primary responsibility for
care if the consultation under clause (b) determines that management by a
physician is required, in accordance with the standards approved by the Council;
(d) continue to provide
midwifery care in collaboration with a physician when primary responsibility for
care is transferred under clause (c), to the extent that is agreed to by the
physician, the midwife and the mother.
32 (1) A midwife who was
engaged in the practice of midwifery in the Province and who was subject to any
disciplinary findings while engaged in the practice of midwifery outside the
Province or has outstanding complaints from outside the Province shall not
engage in the practice of midwifery on the member's return to the Province
before providing the Council with notice of such disciplinary findings or
complaints and receiving notice from the Council that the member is authorized
to resume the practice of midwifery in the Province.
(2) Where the Council receives
notice pursuant to subsection (1), the Council may require the member to attend
a hearing which must be conducted in accordance with subsection 37(2).
33 Complaints may be initiated
(a) any official body corporate or
(b) any other person.
34 The Council or a hearing
panel may employ, at the expense of the Council, such legal or other assistance
as it considers necessary for the purpose of the investigation of any
35 Every person involved in the
administration of this Act and any member of the Council, or a committee of the
Council, shall maintain confidentiality with respect to all health information
that comes to that person's knowledge regarding clients, except
(a) in connection with the
administration of Sections 36 to 55 and the regulations or proceedings
(b) to one's own legal counsel;
(c) as otherwise required by law; or
(d) with the consent of the
person to whom the information relates.
36 The Registrar, the hearing
panel or a person investigating a disciplinary matter concerning a member may
investigate any other disciplinary matter concerning the member that arises in
the course of the investigation.
37 (1) Where the Registrar or hearing
(a) learns that the registration or
licence of a member has been suspended or revoked for reasons of professional
misconduct, conduct unbecoming or incompetence by another licensing or
(b) has provided the member with such
notice as it may prescribe of a hearing together with a copy of the relevant
decision of the other licensing or regulatory authority; and
(c) has heard such evidence as is
offered by the member, if any, at the hearing as to why the member should not be
subject to disciplinary action,
the Registrar or hearing
panel may take any of the actions contemplated by clause 52(2)(e).
(2) Where a member has been
convicted of an offence pursuant to the Criminal Code (Canada) or the Controlled
Drug and Substances Act (Canada), the Registrar or hearing panel may, by such
notice as it prescribes, require the member to attend a hearing to establish why
the member should not be subject to disciplinary action.
(3) For the purpose of
subsection (2), a certificate of conviction of a member is conclusive evidence
that a person has committed the offence stated therein unless it is shown by the
member that the conviction has been quashed or set aside.
(4) When a Registrar or hearing
panel is conducting a hearing pursuant to this Section, it may, if it deems it
proper, take any of the actions contemplated by clause 52(2)(e).
38 (1) The Registrar shall
(a) investigate complaints regarding a
disciplinary matter concerning any member;
(b) investigate any matter referred by
the Council; and
(c) perform such other
duties as may be assigned by the Council.
(2) The Registrar may
investigate a matter notwithstanding that a written complaint has not been filed
with the Registrar.
(3) Without receipt of a written
complaint, the Registrar may
(a) do all things necessary to provide a
full and proper investigation; or
(b) appoint a person or persons to
conduct an investigation or practice audit,
(4) Upon receipt of a written complaint
and upon giving to the member a copy of the complaint, the Registrar may require
the member to do any or all of the following:
(a) submit to physical or mental
examinations by such qualified persons as the Registrar designates;
(b) submit to an inspection or audit of
the practice of the member by such qualified persons as the Registrar
(c) submit to such examinations as the
Registrar directs to determine whether the member is competent to practise
(d) produce records and
accounts kept with respect to the member's practice.
(5) Where the member fails to
comply with subsection (4), the Registrar may suspend or restrict the
registration or licence of the member until the member complies.
(6) Where the Registrar has,
pursuant to clause (4)(a), (b) or (c), required a member to submit to physical
or mental examinations or submit to inspection or audit of the practice by a
qualified person designated by the Registrar, the Registrar shall deliver to the
member any report it receives from the designated qualified person.
(7) The committee or person appointed to
conduct an investigation pursuant to clause (3)(b) may
(a) employ such experts as the committee
or person deems necessary;
(b) require the member, or any other
member who may have information relevant to the investigation, to attend before
the committee or the person conducting the investigation to be interviewed;
(c) investigate any other
matter relevant to the conduct, capacity or fitness of a member to practise
midwifery that arises in the course of the investigation.
(8) The Registrar may
(a) dismiss the complaint;
(b) attempt to resolve the matter
(c) with the consent of both parties,
refer the matter, in whole or in part, for mediation;
(d) refer the matter, in whole or in
part, to a hearing panel;
(e) counsel the member;
(f) caution the member;
(g) counsel and caution the member;
(h) reprimand the member with the
member's consent; or
(i) with the consent of the
member, require the member to undergo such treatment or re-education as the
Registrar considers necessary.
(9) Where the Registrar is
considering a decision to counsel, caution or counsel and caution a member
pursuant to clause (8)(e), (f) or (g), the Registrar shall give notice to the
member and the member shall be given the opportunity to appear, with or without
legal counsel, before the Registrar prior to the Registrar making a
(10) A member who has
consented to a requirement for treatment or re-education pursuant to clause
(8)(i) may consent to such requirement in principle, while reserving the right
to appeal the actual content of the requirement for treatment or re-education to
a hearing panel within fifteen days of receiving notice thereof.
(11) Parties to an appeal
pursuant to subsection (10) shall bear their own costs.
(12) An appeal pursuant to
subsection (10) shall be conducted without oral testimony and a hearing panel
shall review an agreed statement of facts supplied by the legal counsel for the
Council and signed by the member.
(13) Where an agreed
statement of facts is not filed within thirty days of filing the notice of
appeal, the consent of the member is deemed to have been withdrawn and the
matter referred back to the Registrar who may consider other actions or
dispositions as authorized by this Act.
(14) When making a
disposition pursuant to clause (8)(e), (f), (g), (h) or (i), the Registrar may
make any combination of the dispositions that are set out in those clauses or
the Registrar may make such other dispositions as the Registrar considers
appropriate, in accordance with the objects of this Act.
(15) The member and the
complainant shall be advised, in writing, of the disposition of the Registrar.
39 (1) Notwithstanding anything contained
in this Act, where
(a) the Registrar receives reliable
information that indicates that a member may be incompetent or guilty of
professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming; and
(b) the Registrar concludes that it is
in the public interest to suspend from practice or restrict the practice of the
the Registrar may, without a hearing,
(c) immediately suspend the registration
or licence of the member on a temporary basis; or
(d) immediately impose
restrictions on the registration or licence of the member on a temporary
(2) The member must receive,
forthwith, notice in writing, with reasons, of a decision made pursuant to
(3) Subject to a
determination pursuant to subsection (5), a decision pursuant to subsection (1)
continues in force until final resolution by a hearing panel which must occur
without undue delay.
(4) A member who receives
written notice pursuant to subsection (2) may request, in writing, an
opportunity to meet with the Registrar.
(5) Where a request is received pursuant
to subsection (4), the Registrar
(a) shall provide an opportunity for the
member to meet with the Registrar within ten days of the written request;
(b) after meeting with the
member, may confirm, vary or terminate the suspension or restrictions imposed
pursuant to subsection (1).
40 Notwithstanding anything
contained in this Act, where a decision is made pursuant to subsection 39(1),
subject to any disposition made pursuant to subsection 39(5), a hearing panel
shall be appointed pursuant to subsection 44(1) to proceed with a hearing to
determine whether the member is guilty of charges relating to a disciplinary
41 Notwithstanding that members
of a hearing panel have ceased to hold office by reason of the lapse of their
appointments, such members are seized with the jurisdiction to complete any
matter the panel has commenced if necessary to retain a quorum and, for this
purpose, such members continue to have the same powers, privileges, immunities
and duties as are provided by this Act and the regulations.
42 (1) After the Registrar
refers a matter to a hearing panel pursuant to clause 38(8)(d), the member
complained of may, at any time before the commencement of the hearing, tender to
the Registrar a proposed settlement agreement, in writing, consented to by legal
counsel for the Council that includes an admission of a disciplinary matter
violation or violations and the member's consent to a specified disposition,
conditional upon the acceptance of the agreement by a hearing panel.
(2) The Registrar may, in the
Registrar's discretion, recommend or refuse to recommend acceptance of the
proposed settlement agreement by the hearing panel.
(3) Where the Registrar
recommends the acceptance of the proposed settlement agreement, the Registrar
shall instruct legal counsel for the Council to advise the hearing panel of the
(4) Where the Registrar
refuses to recommend the proposed settlement agreement, the hearing shall
proceed without reference to the proposed settlement agreement.
(5) Where the hearing panel
appointed to hear the complaint accepts the recommendation of the Registrar, it
shall confirm such acceptance by written decision that incorporates the
(6) Where the hearing panel appointed to
hear the complaint rejects the recommendation of the Registrar,
(a) the hearing panel shall advise the
Council of its decision;
(b) the hearing panel shall proceed no
further with the hearing of the complaint;
(c) a new hearing panel shall be
appointed to hear the complaint and no member of the hearing panel that
considered the proposed settlement agreement shall be a member of the new
hearing panel; and
(d) the Registrar retains
jurisdiction over the complaint until the commencement of the hearing by a
43 The Registrar may investigate
the activities of a non-member but the Registrar has no compulsory powers in
relation to the investigation of the non-member, except that the Registrar may
require a member who may have information relevant to the investigation to
attend before the committee or the person conducting the investigation to be
44 (1) A hearing panel shall
be appointed for the purpose of hearing any charges relating to a disciplinary
matter against a member when a disciplinary matter is referred, in whole or in
part, to a hearing panel.
(2) The hearing panel shall
be composed of at least three persons of whom one member shall be appointed by
the Council as the chair.
(3) The hearing panel must have as
(a) at least one person appointed
pursuant to clause 4(1)(a);
(b) at least one person appointed
pursuant to clauses 4(1)(b) or (c); and
(c) at least one person
appointed pursuant to clause 4(1)(d).
subsection (3), two members of the hearing panel constitute a quorum, one of
whom must be a person appointed pursuant to clause 4(1)(a).
(5) Subject to the
regulations, the hearing panel may do all things necessary to provide a full and
(6) In a matter over which a
hearing panel has jurisdiction, the hearing panel and each member of the hearing
panel has all the powers, privileges and immunities of a commissioner appointed
pursuant to the Public Inquiries Act.
(7) Upon the application of
(a) any party to the hearing;
(b) the chair of the hearing panel;
(c) legal counsel for the Council or the
the Registrar shall sign and
issue a summons to witness for the purpose of procuring the attendance and
evidence of witnesses before the hearing panel.
(8) It is the duty of the
member who is charged in a disciplinary matter to appear at the hearing, but in
the event of non-attendance by such member, the hearing panel, upon proof by
affidavit, statutory declaration or other evidence acceptable to the hearing
panel of service of the notice pursuant to subsection (9), may proceed with the
hearing and, without further notice to the member, render its decision and take
such other action as it is authorized to take pursuant to this Act.
(9) Unless the member has
agreed to a shorter notice period, a notice of hearing must be served at least
thirty days before the holding of the hearing upon the member whose disciplinary
matter is being heard.
(10) A notice of a hearing
must state the details of the charges and the time and place of the holding of
the hearing and must be signed by the Registrar.
(11) The Council shall place the
notice as provided for in subsection (10) in such publications as it deems
necessary in order to inform the public.
45 (1) The following evidence is not
admissible before a hearing panel unless the opposing party has been given, at
least ten days before the hearing,
(a) in the case of written or
documentary evidence, an opportunity to examine the evidence;
(b) in the case of evidence of an
expert, a copy of the expert's written report or, where there is no written
report, a written summary of the evidence; and
(c) in the case of evidence
of a witness, the identity of the witness.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection
(1), a hearing panel may, in its discretion, allow the introduction of evidence
that would be otherwise inadmissible under subsection (1) and may make
directions it considers necessary to ensure that a party is not prejudiced.
46 (1) No member of a hearing
panel holding a hearing shall communicate outside the hearing, in relation to
the subject-matter of the hearing, with a party or the party's representative
unless the other party has been given notice of the subject-matter of the
communication and an opportunity to be present during the communication, with
the exception of communications of which the sole purpose is to make
(2) Any member of a hearing
panel who is present at a Council meeting at which information is to be
presented or discussed that has the potential of becoming a source of review by
a hearing panel shall absent himself or herself during the Council's discussions
of such matter.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection
(2), a majority of the serving members of the Council who have not absented
themselves pursuant to subsection (2) constitute a quorum and may transact any
business of the Council .
47 Where a hearing panel obtains
expert opinion regarding midwifery with respect to a hearing, the hearing panel
shall make the nature of the opinion known to the parties and the parties may
make submissions with respect to the opinion.
48 (1) Subject to subsection
(2), a hearing is open to the public.
(2) The hearing panel may make an order
that the public, in whole or in part, be excluded from a hearing or any part of
it if the hearing panel is satisfied that
(a) matters involving public security
may be disclosed;
(b) financial or personal or other
matters may be disclosed at the hearing of such a nature that the desirability
of avoiding public disclosure of those matters in the interest of any person
affected or in the public interest outweighs the desirability of adhering to the
principle that hearings be open to the public; or
(c) the safety of a person
may be jeopardized.
(3) Where it thinks fit, the
hearing panel may make orders it considers necessary to prevent the public
disclosure of matters disclosed at a hearing, including orders prohibiting
publication or broadcasting of those matters.
(4) No order shall be made
pursuant to subsection (3) that prevents the publication of anything that is
contained in the Register and available to the public.
(5) The hearing panel may
make an order that the public be excluded from the part of a hearing dealing
with a motion of an order pursuant to subsection (2).
(6) The hearing panel may
make any order necessary to prevent the public disclosure of matters disclosed
in the submission relating to any motion described in subsection (5), including
prohibiting the publication or broadcasting of those matters.
(7) Subject to any orders
pursuant to this Section, the hearing panel shall state, at the hearing, its
reasons for any order made pursuant to this Section.
49 Where a hearing panel makes an order
pursuant to subsection 48(2), wholly or partly, because of the desirability of
avoiding disclosure of matters in the interest of a person affected,
(a) the hearing panel shall allow the
parties, the complainant and their legal and personal representatives; and
(b) the hearing panel may allow such
other persons as the panel considers appropriate,
to attend the hearing.
50 A hearing panel shall, on the
request of a witness, other than the member, whose testimony is in relation to
allegations of misconduct of a sexual nature by a member involving the witness,
make an order that no person shall publish the identity of the witness or any
information that could disclose the identity of the witness.
51 (1) A hearing panel shall ensure
(a) the oral evidence is recorded;
(b) copies of the transcript of the
hearing are available to a party at the party's request and expense, the
complainant at the complainant's request and expense and other persons the
hearing panel or the Registrar considers appropriate at those persons' request
and expense; and
(c) copies of the transcript
of any part of the hearing that is not closed nor the subject of an order
prohibiting publication are available to any person at that person's request and
(2) Where a transcript of a part
of a hearing that is the subject of an order for a closed hearing or an order
prohibiting publication is filed with a court in respect of proceedings, only
the court, the parties to the proceedings and the complainant may examine it
unless the court or the hearing panel orders otherwise.
52 (1) At a hearing of a
hearing panel, a member is entitled to all the rights of natural justice,
including the right to be represented by legal counsel, to know all the evidence
considered by the hearing panel, to present evidence and to cross-examine
(2) A hearing panel
(a) shall hear each case in such manner
as it deems fit;
(b) may require the member to
(i) submit to physical or mental examinations by such qualified persons as
the panel designates,
(ii) submit to an inspection or audit
of the member's practice by such qualified persons as the panel
(iii) undergo such examinations as the
panel directs to determine whether the member is competent to practise
(iv) produce records and accounts kept
with respect to the member's practice;
(c) may, where the member fails
to comply with clause (b), resolve that the registration or licence of the
member be suspended until the member complies;
(d) shall, where the panel has, pursuant
to subclause (b)(i), (ii) or (iii), required a member to submit to physical or
mental examinations or submit to inspection or audit of the practice by a
qualified person designated by the panel, deliver to the member any report it
receives from the designated qualified person;
(e) shall determine whether the member
is guilty of charges relating to a disciplinary matter and
(i) where there is a guilty finding, may determine that
(A) the registration or licence of the member be revoked and that the
member's name be stricken from the Register,
(ii) where there is a not
guilty finding, the hearing panel may dismiss the charges; and
(B) the licence of the member be
(I) for a fixed period, or
(C) conditions, limitations
or restrictions be imposed on the licence of the member,
(II) for an indefinite period
until the occurrence of some specified future event or until compliance
with conditions prescribed by the panel,
(D) the member undergo such
treatment or re-education as the panel considers necessary,
(E) the member be reprimanded,
(F) such other disposition as it
considers appropriate be imposed, or
(f) shall file its
decision, including reasons, at the offices of the Council.
(3) When making dispositions
pursuant to clause (2)(e), the hearing panel may impose one or more of the
penalties that are set out therein, or the hearing panel may make such other
dispositions as it considers appropriate, in accordance with the objects of this
(4) The Registrar shall
provide the member, the complainant and such other persons as the Registrar
considers appropriate with a copy of the decision of the hearing panel except
that, where there are references identifying clients or other persons other than
the complainant, those references as well as other personal information about
those persons shall be deleted if, in the Registrar's opinion, it is
(5) The decision of a hearing
panel has effect immediately upon service on the member or from such time as the
decision may direct.
(6) The hearing panel shall
release documents and things put into evidence at a hearing to the person who
produced them, on request, within a reasonable time after the matter in issue
has been finally determined.
53 (1) In this Section, "costs of the
(a) expenses incurred by the Council,
the Registrar and the hearing panel;
(b) honoraria paid to members of the
hearing panel; and
(c) solicitor and client
costs and disbursements of the Council relating to the investigation and hearing
of the complaint.
(2) Where a hearing panel
finds a member guilty of charges relating to a disciplinary matter, the hearing
panel may order that the member pay the costs of the Council, in whole or in
(3) Where a member is ordered to
pay costs pursuant to subsection (2), the Council may make it a condition of the
registration or licence of the member that such costs be paid forthwith, or at
such time and on such terms as the Council may fix.
54 (1) The member complained
against may appeal on any point of law from the findings of the hearing panel to
the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.
(2) The notice of appeal
shall be served upon the Registrar and the complainant.
(3) The record on appeal from
the findings of a hearing panel consists of a copy of the transcript of the
proceedings, the decision of the hearing panel and the evidence before the
hearing panel certified by the chair of the hearing panel.
(4) The Civil Procedure Rules
governing appeals from the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia to the Nova Scotia Court
of Appeal that are not inconsistent with this Act apply mutatis mutandis to
appeals to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal pursuant to this Section.
(5) Where a matter is appealed
to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal pursuant to this Section, the Nova Scotia
Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to, pending a decision by the Nova Scotia Court
of Appeal, grant a stay of any order made pursuant to this Act if, in its
discretion, it deems it appropriate.
55 (1) A person whose licence has been
revoked by a resolution of a hearing panel pursuant to subclause 52(2)(e)(i),
may apply to the Registrar for
(a) the entering of the person's name,
address and qualifications on the Register; and
(b) the issuance of a
(2) An application pursuant to subsection
(1) shall not be made earlier than
(a) two years after the revocation;
(b) six months after the
(3) The Registrar, upon
(a) being satisfied that the interest of
the public has been adequately protected;
(b) being satisfied as to the intention
of such person to practise midwifery in the Province;
(c) being satisfied as to the activities
of such person since the time of the resolution of the hearing panel;
(d) such person producing a letter of
good standing from all jurisdictions in which the person has practised midwifery
since the date of such resolution of the hearing panel; and
(e) such person undergoing such clinical
or other examinations as the Council may designate,
may direct the Registrar to
(f) enter the name, address and
qualifications of such person in the Register; and
(g) issue a licence to such
person upon such terms and conditions as the Council may direct.
(4) An applicant who is refused
registration may appeal that decision to the Registration Appeal Committee
pursuant to subsection 19(3).
56 Service of any notice, order,
resolution or other document pursuant to this Act or the regulations may be
(a) upon a midwife or former midwife by
registered letter addressed to such person at the person's address as set forth
in the Register; or
(b) upon any other person, by
57 Where service is made by
registered letter, service is deemed to be made on the third day after the
notice, order, resolution or other document is mailed and proof that the notice,
order, resolution or other document was addressed and posted in accordance with
Section 56 is proof of service.
58 Service of any document on
the Council may be made by service on the Registrar.
59 (1) A member has a duty to report to
the Registrar if the member has reasonable grounds to believe that another
(a) has engaged in professional
misconduct, incompetence or conduct unbecoming the profession; or
(b) is practicing in a
manner that otherwise constitutes a danger to the public.
(2) A member has a duty to report to the
regulator of another health profession if the member has reasonable grounds to
believe that a member of that health profession
(a) has engaged in professional
misconduct, incompetence or conduct unbecoming the profession; or
(b) is practicing in a
manner that otherwise constitutes a danger to the public.
(3) No action for damages or
other relief lies against a member for any report made pursuant to subsection
(1) or (2) if such report was made in good faith.
60 (1) No action for damages or other
relief lies against the Council, the persons on the Council, committees or
subcommittees of the Council, or the persons on the committees or subcommittees,
or the officers, agents or employees of the Council for
(a) any act or failure to act, or any
proceeding initiated or taken, in good faith under this Act or in carrying out
the duties or obligations under this Act; or
(b) any decision, order or
resolution made or enforced in good faith under this Act.
(2) No action lies against
any person for the disclosure of any information or any document or anything
therein pursuant to this Act unless such disclosure is made with malice.
(3) No member of the Council, a
committee or subcommittee of the Council or any officer, agent or employee
thereof is personally liable for any of the debts or liabilities of the Council
unless the person expressly agrees to be liable.
61 Nothing in this Act prohibits
the practice by a person of medicine, nursing or pharmacy or any other health
discipline recognized by statute.
62 Where a midwife voluntarily
renders first aid or emergency services without the expectation of monetary
compensation to a person in any place not having proper and necessary medical
facilities, the midwife is not liable for the death of such person or damages
alleged to have been sustained by such person by reason of an act or omission in
the rendering of such first aid or emergency services unless it is established
that the injuries were, or the death was caused by, conduct on the part of the
midwife that, if committed by a person of ordinary experience, learning and
skill, would constitute negligence.
63 (1) Every person who
(a) knowingly furnishes false
information in any application under this Act or in any statement required to be
furnished under this Act or the regulations;
(b) engages in the practice of midwifery
without complying with this Act;
(c) engages in the practice of midwifery
in violation of any condition or limitation contained in the person's licence;
(d) otherwise contravenes this Act or
is guilty of an offence and
liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than two thousand dollars or
to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.
(2) The Summary Proceedings
Act applies in addition to any penalty otherwise provided for in this Act or the
(3) All fines and penalties
payable under this Act or under the Summary Proceedings Act as a result of a
prosecution by or on behalf of the Council belong to the Council.
(4) Any information to be
laid pursuant to this Act or the Summary Proceedings Act may be laid by the
Council or any person authorized by the Council.
(5) In a prosecution of an
offence contrary to this Act or the regulations, the onus to prove that a person
accused of an offence has the right to practise midwifery, or that a person
comes within any of the exemptions provided by this Act, is on the person
(6) Where a violation of this
Act or the regulations by a person or employer continues for more than one day,
the offender is guilty of a separate offence for each day that the violation
(7) For the purpose of this Act
and the regulations, proof of the performance by a person who is not a
registered midwife of one act in the practice of midwifery is sufficient to
establish that the person has engaged in the practice of midwifery.
64 (1) In the event of a
threatened or continuing violation of this Act or the regulations, the Council
may apply to a judge for an injunction to restrain the person from continuing or
committing the violation and the judge, where the judge deems it to be just, may
grant such an injunction.
(2) A judge may, on
application, grant an interim injunction pending the hearing of an application
for an injunction pursuant to subsection (1) if the judge is satisfied that
there is reason to believe that a person is likely to commit or is continuing to
commit a violation of this Act or the regulations.
(3) A judge may make such orders
as to costs as the judge considers appropriate in any proceedings pursuant to
65 The Act comes into force on
such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
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