sept. 23. 2020

In Maroofi v College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C., 2017 BCSC 1558, a physician received a letter of caution from the Inquiry Committee of the College criticizing some of his conduct (including failing to carry professional liability protection and engaging in behaviour that some viewed as harassment). Dr. Maroofi sought judicial review of that decision. The Court concluded that judicial review was not available because no formal findings had been made, the decision had no impact on Dr. Maroofi’s legal rights and the decision was not publicly available. In addition the Court concluded, for similar reasons, that the decision was moot:

Even if the Inquiry Committee Disposition could be found to be amenable to judicial review, which I have determined it is not, the College submits that it is a decision that did not impact Dr. Maroofi’s right to practice medicine, did not make findings of fact binding on anyone, did not impose limits or conditions on Dr. Maroofi’s practice of medicine, did not impose formal disciplinary measures and did not affect his entry on the College’s register. As a result, this application for judicial review, no matter what its result, would not alter Dr. Maroofi’s right to practice medicine. In such circumstances, the College says his application is moot because any resolution to the controversy he raises will not affect his rights.

The Court also found that the decision was reasonable in the circumstances given the evidence that had been obtained even though Dr. Maroofi disputed most of it (other than the fact that he had not carried professional liability protection). Ontario Courts seem to be more open to reviewing complaints outcomes similar to the one in this case, perhaps because, among other things, some screening committee outcomes in Ontario now do get placed on the public register.