For over a century, the CMPA has demonstrated its commitment to protecting the professional integrity of its members. Members can contact the CMPA for advice on a broad range of medico-legal issues arising from their professional work in Canada. They receive the benefit of advice from people who understand their situation—experienced medical officers who are physicians with clinical practice backgrounds in various practices and specialties. These medical officers are available to provide advice and, when warranted, arrange further legal assistance for matters arising from a member’s professional work, including the following:
Risk management education research
The CMPA is a leading authority in medico-legal risk management, both in Canada and internationally. Through its education and risk management programs, the Association makes a significant contribution to safer medical care in Canada.
Experienced physicians and lawyers develop and deliver accredited continuing medical education (CME) programs, designed to help physicians manage risk in daily practice and contribute to safer medical care.
These programs are supported by a multidisciplinary research team composed of physicians, registered nurses, health record specialists, statisticians, data analysts, actuaries and actuarial analysts. The team collects and analyzes medico-legal information, determines risk trends and develops recommendations to improve the safety of medicine, at both the individual and system level.
Increasingly, the CMPA’s research and educational activities are conducted in collaboration with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation and other organizations working to improve the safety of health care in Canada. CMPA research data also helps regulatory authorities (Colleges), specialty societies and other professional medical organizations develop their own educational programs and establish standards and guidelines. Through these and other efforts, the CMPA is contributing to reducing the number and magnitude of adverse medical events.
When members face a medico-legal action, they are eligible for assistance in the form of legal representation, and payment of legal costs, judgments or settlements to compensate patients where it is determined they have been harmed by negligent care. The CMPA works with an independent General Counsel and with selected legal firms in each province (Provincial Counsel) to ensure that members have the support necessary to achieve the best possible outcome.
Members are generally eligible for assistance for medical care they give while a CMPA member, regardless of when a legal matter may arise from the care given. For example, physicians remain eligible for assistance after retirement, as well as during sabbatical, parental leave, and long-term disability. The member’s family and estate are eligible for assistance after the member’s death. This is called “occurrence-based protection.”
There is no monetary limit on the assistance a member is eligible to receive. The CMPA has sufficient financial reserves to meet its known and incurred liabilities for all professional work done by members, ensuring patients deemed to have been harmed by negligent medical care receive appropriate compensation.