How much do you know about your healthcare professional?

If you're getting treatment from a health practitioner like a chiropractor, midwife or optometrist, it's a good idea to find out as much information as you can about them. It's simple to view your healthcare professional's record by checking with their regulatory college.

Each college has a public register of the professionals they oversee that you can search on their website. Registers list the professional's qualifications — where and what they are allowed to practise, if a healthcare professional has ever been disciplined and if limits have been put on their practice because of professional misconduct.

Ontario has more than 300,000 practising healthcare professionals. They are regulated by colleges who protect the public by holding their members responsible for their conduct and practice, whether they are a doctor in a clinic or a lab technologist. It is the job of Ontario's health regulators to ensure that you are treated with skill and fairness.

Here's what to do when visiting a healthcare professional:

Take an active part in your care. It is your right to ask questions and get clear answers about your health issues and treatment options.

Have an open discussion about costs and fees. Your healthcare professional should explain anything you are paying for.

Give informed consent. After getting all the information you need, you can agree to or refuse any procedure for any reason at any time.

Get a second opinion. You have the right to seek advice from another healthcare professional on any issue about your health.

Have your privacy protected. The personal health information you disclose to your healthcare professional is confidential. You have the right to view and get a copy of your own information.

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