The Passing Scene – Thinking Out Loud!

Recently, I had medical incident that, in the last week of August, took me to the pride of the county, Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH), where I was seen quickly and treated – and then referred to a Cobourg specialist who referred me to the Kawartha Cardiology Clinic in Peterborough; which, in turn, referred me back to NHH, having scheduled another cardiac exam on January 23rd 2019. Or five months since my initial appointment. Now, I’m not a young lad any more, except in spirit, though I like to think I present as a sprightly older person, notwithstanding the the cane I am now carrying (just in case). Heck, just a couple of years ago I was cycling over 1500 kilometers each summer. But at my age – well elderly is sufficient – five months is a long time. Which suggests that Northumberland and Peterborough counties, with aging populations, probably have a high rate of cardiac problems and need to find a solution to the long wait times for patients to get an appointment.

Grahame Woods
Grahame Woods

I was referred to NHH for an Echo Doppler test which measures the flow of blood moving through the heart chambers. With four months to go, it suggests an extremely long waiting list at NHH. Which won’t get any better. So, here’s a thought; why doesn’t NHH create a very small committee to discuss and find a way to finance an expansion of the existing cardiac program to confront a problem that will only get worse as the local population grows and ages. Four months? By then the NHL playoffs will soon be starting, Valentine’s Day and another birthday (a biggie) will be around the corner; new councils will be well into their first terms and the line-ups for Echo Dopplers will be longer. And longer. In the meantime, I’m counting the days.


AHH, JUSTICE FOR ALL: Now here’s a dilemma; let’s assume I had committed a sexual assault and had been arrested and charged; the Criminal Code specifies Everyone who commits a sexual assault is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years. Well, not everyone it seems. Some professions are permitted to look after their own and, unlike ordinary Canadians, it seems the law doesn’t apply to them. I’m thinking of doctors and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario which sees itself as a law-unto-itself; we are special and can’t be judged like regular citizens. According to a recent Toronto Star story, ‘A Toronto doctor was formally reprimanded by the discipline committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario for sexually abusing (groping) four female patients.’ Four!

The doctor, Javad Peirovy, according to the Toronto Star, stood in the middle of the hearing room ‘… as members of the discipline committee castigated him for his misconduct. “Your actions were totally unacceptable … and we express our and the public’s disappointment in your behaviour.” Disappointment? Unacceptable? Really? The panel, fellow doctors, imposed a suspension, ‘… finding there was evidence he could improve through counselling.’ Oh, counselling. You know. A few sessions, a few nods of understanding and back to work. This wasn’t just sexual assault, it was an extreme violation of the trust implicit in doctor/patient relationships.

The question is; how can we have one approach to ‘justice’ for one small segment of the population and a completely different one for the mass of people that make up the rest of Canada? How is it the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is able to circumvent the law, and thumb its collective noses at the laws of Canada? Ordinary offending Canadians going through the criminal court system and charged with the same offence as Peirovy could have expected anywhere from 6 months to a year in prison.

What’s that? Oh, he’s a doctor. Of course.

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Let’s have a woman’s point of view here…I’m a male and as far as I can judge, this freek MD got off easy

Rusty Brown

Is that a sexist comment that must be protested by all high-minded citizens? Do men have different “points of view” about improprieties than women? If so, whose version of righteousness should prevail?
I’m obviously confused by contemporary issues. Enlightenment appreciated.

John L. Hill

The segment of Grahame Woods opinion entitled, “AHH Justice for All” is extremely misleading and is apt to give the impression that medical doctors are exempt from prosecution for sexual offences under the Criminal Code. In my prison law practice, I have represented at least three former medical doctors before the Parole Board of Canada who were sentenced to lengthy terms of incarceration (several years) for sexual crimes against patients. All of the practitioners also faced disciplinary measures before their regulatory body separate and apart from criminal prosecution. I am not familiar with the Pierovy case cited in the column. However, I think Mr. Woods would be well advised to refrain from demeaning the medical profession as a whole and our judicial system.


“It all goes back to patients Peirovy examined at various walk-in clinics in 2009 and 2010. Six women accused him of groping their breasts and Toronto Police charged him with six counts of sexual assault. In 2013, the doctor pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of simple assault on two of the women and the remaining charges were withdrawn. He received a conditional discharge and 18 months probation, with conditions that included that he attend counselling.”

Walter L. Luedtke

This is a complicated issue.
Ontario passed Bill 87 last year: “Ontario Strengthens Laws to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Patients
Protecting Patients Act Ensures Health and Safety of Patients and Families”.
It has expanded the list of acts of sexual abuse that will result in the mandatory revocation of a regulated health professional’s certificate of registration.
It has removed the ability of a health regulatory college to impose restrictions that would allow a regulated health professional to continue practising on patients of a specific gender.
Please keep up Mr. Woods, before pontificating.